Sixteen and a half years ago a boyishly cute, brown-eyed young man caught my eye. I’ve written about our love story before. How we met, why I call him WB, etc. But today, after 14 years of marriage I am reminded of a plane ride he took me on.
We’d only been dating a couple of weeks when he called and asked if I wanted to go for a ride.
“Sure, where are we going?”
“Up” was his reply.
After a short ride in his Jeep I found myself at a little community airport. I quickly took in the tiny, two-seater plane we parked in front of. My mind processed the small frame, not so strong looking wings, and the front propeller, that resembled the model planes people liked to fly at the park.
WB jumped out of the car with his black flight bag and a huge grin on his face. He promptly led me through the pre-flight check as we inspected the outside of the plane. Next, we hopped inside, where I immediately noticed that there was just enough room for the two of us to sit. He handed me a headset which covered my ears and had a little microphone to talk into. The engine roared to life and through my headset I heard his deep voice ask, “Ready?”
“Yes”, was my amazingly steady reply.
The deceptively fragile-looking plane gently lifted off the ground and slowly gained altitude. I stared in awe at the tiny people we left behind at the airport and the fields of cotton that were just beginning to grow looking like etched lines in the dirt fields. Blue sky stretched in front of us for miles, with just a tinge of clouds gliding along the horizon.
I had no idea then, but that ride would mimic our life together in many ways. I literally was swept off my feet by WB. His quiet, calm ways let me step into that plane without any fear. Later, in our marriage those traits would help to guide us through some turbulent times. Confident and steady hands, flicked through the instrument panel as we prepared for take-off. Those same hands would steady mine as my confidence waned in the years to come. WB’s ability to assess a situation and then plot a course would navigate us through life’s many adventures.
And that feeling you get when you first take-off, that stomach dropping thrill, it doesn’t really go away. It will reappear at times, sometimes when you least expect it. But the most wonderful thing is that that part of the ride is no longer the most thrilling. After 14 years I’ve come to realize that just soaring through the calm skies, as we navigate through the turbulence, is really the best part of the ride.
I love you WB, thanks for sweeping me off my feet!