Good Sunday, dear readers:
I feel a jet blast from the past as I sit at my keyboard typing this as I have neglected this site for way to long. I thank each and everyone of you for hanging in there with me as a lot has happened since I last posted.
|GRR - Ford Airport|
As I reflect on 2015 and move on to 2016, I remember what last year brought to me and took away from me at the same time. Events, and especially people. The beginning of 2015 opened a new door for me as I relocated from NYC to Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 29th. I will admit, even though I was born, raised, and lived in the Midwest for quite some time, it was an ultra culture shock re-experiencing life in the Midwest. I had lived in NYC for 15 years, and quite frankly, having lived there for the span of time, it was a major adjustment for me coming back to the midwest. I left friends and "framily" (non-blood related family) behind to be with my family.
I do miss NYC tremendously, but that doesn't mean that I don't pop in for an occasional visit. Over the months I became acquainted with the West Michigan area. Getting used to everyone's last name having double vowels, ending in -ijk, -stra, or -ema, noting the huge Dutch population which has settled here over the years. We were even graced last summer with the presence of the King and Queen of the Netherlands on their royal visit here. To quote King Willem, "If it's not Dutch, it's not much."
Life is very special....
Even though a new adventure started, I will not forget the friends and family that were taken away from me in 2015. One of my best friends out on the East Coast was swiftly taken away from me in his sleep on November 7th at the young age of 28. On New Year's Eve, my paternal grandfather was taken from this world. One painful experience learned: it's never easy to watch a parent send their child off and away from this world.
I quickly discovered how selfish I was for wanting to keep those two people down here in this world, when their souls were cleared to take off to go somewhere higher where they would be able to elevate themselves higher and higher. We must let those we love go, to take their wings that they've greatly earned, to take off, and to achieve even greater greatness - that spiritual elevation.
Even though we acknowledge our losses in this world, we must also acknowledge the gains... and I am very hopeful and excited to see what 2016 will bring.
I am very thankful to say that even though I lost family and a friend who was a part of my "framily", I am blessed to know that they are still with me in spirit. Their personalities are with me every day. Not only this, I am blessed to have friends on this Earth from all over who are supportive and encouraging of my every endeavor - aviation and non-aviation alike.
They have shared their lives with me to help encourage me to attain the unattainable.
"I read, not, because I don't have a life.
I read, because, I have many lives."
Friends have reached out to share their characters, and their lives, by their words: creative and knowledgeable alike. Authors not only write to send a message, but they want to connect with us, and vice-versa. When I read a book, I form a connection and become a part of the book.
I had a good time hanging out with Kathryn and Darby. To learn the lesson that even though life tries to bring our planes down, that there is room for fun and hope for survival. I thoroughly enjoyed escaping Edwardian London with David as we took flight to Neverland. I enjoyed walking though the streets of Rome, Italy, a place I have been, and that I long to return to, smelling the sights and sighting the smells of haute Italian cuisine with southerners Jack McCall and LeDare Ansley.. I also once read on a cold winter's night, alone, the transcripts of two pilots trying to recover from a high altitude stall as if I was sitting in the jumpseat of an Airbus, with an imaginary wall between the pilots and I, ice crystals forming up my spine, as we plunged second by millisecond towards the waters of the south Atlantic. The outcome: knowing that from that point forward that pilots world wide would do whatever it takes to make sure that this experience would never happen again with any aircraft, with any flight, and especially, with any passenger.
Books I have read, have surprised me by the many connections that are mentioned in them, and my personal life from places, to people, to pets, to aviation. It doesn't matter if it's fiction or non. Or in some cases, both. These books and many more have become a part of my world and life.
I have been informed that 2016 will be a year of many words such as: motivation, inspiration, commitment, contribution, fear, ascension, and safety to name a few. We must take these words and use them to our advantage. It will not be easy, but it must be done so we can elevate ourselves and pay tribute to lives we lost last year and years before - that's what our loved ones who have taken flight away from this world would only want from us - whether lost suddenly or throughout time . To make the world a better place - not only for ourselves, but others.
Even though my New Year was four months ago, when the weather was warmer, I will reaffirm my commitment, to do whatever possible to continue to not only elevate myself and my success in every endeavor, but also encourage others to do the same. Most importantly, our younger generations.
This, my friends, readers, everyone, will not be a year where we will accept where we are as good enough. This should be a year for assertion and ascension. We will always strive to commit to take ourselves to higher and higher levels as humanly possible. As the saying goes, "Time flies, and we are the Captains of our lives." Let's make Chapter 2016 a great one.
And with these words, I propose a toast to our future successes in 2016: