This afternoon I learned some very sad news. A friend… someone I have never met personally, but with whom because of blogging and our similar perspectives on life and politics I have developed good rapport and a feeling of confidence… has lost her husband. A heart condition, by her account… similar to something he had experienced a couple years ago.
I know of him only by the nickname she uses for him when she writes on her blog or when she comments here… LuvPilot. He was a pilot for Southwest Airlines, which is the airline I always fly when I go back to Cleveland for Christmas. Of course, I have no idea if he ever piloted one of the planes I was carried on, but it always crossed my mind… each and every time I stepped on a plane, I thought of my friend Tammy and the man she so clearly loves with all her heart, and wondered if he was the pilot keeping my passage safe.
I can’t even begin to understand what Tammy is going through right now. I don’t know what I would do… I have no idea how I might react to the loss of someone close to me. It is nearly inevitable; at some time in our lives, we all will likely lose someone, at some very close level. I always believed it would be me being mourned by others, given the wreck I was for so many years… Maybe I was trying to make it be me, because I was so afraid to feel. I don’t know for sure, and that’s not the point, really… although I can’t help but selfishly think about what I would feel, if I were in her shoes. I guess that’s human nature… all we really have is our understanding of what we experience through our interactions with others. A book can never tell you what only your heart can feel, and no amount of planning can prepare a person for the journey upon which Tammy is about to embark.
As she wrote about this overwhelming event, Tammy said she doesn't feel amazing, and that she doesn't feel strong… yet she had the strength to write about this, just one day after learning the news. I’d probably be curled up in a ball in the corner of my bedroom and losing my mind. And while she likely doesn't believe this today… I think Tammy is going to be just fine. In fact, I’m sure of it. I wish I could take the pain and sorrow from my friend and let her move on as if she never missed a beat, but that’s not the way God meant it to be, as she knows. Her faith, along with the strength and love of her family and friends, will see her through this turbulent time.
Tammy was blessed with the opportunity to have a good conversation with her LuvPilot on Friday, and she had the chance to say “I love you.” I know, somehow, that makes all the difference.
I don’t ask this often… ever, really… but please… say a prayer for my friend Tammy, and for their two sons.