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Friday, November 15, 2013

He Got His Wish

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I had put my airplane away for the evening after visiting my mom and dad yesterday, and was exiting the secured gate at the airport when a woman had pulled up and frantically waved me down.

Her 88 year old dad was at the airport, his hangar was "right over there" (we could see it from the gate) and his car was parked out front and the door of the hangar was partially open.

She was panicking. Her dad ALWAYS was home by 4 p.m., but her mom said he hadn't returned yet - it was about 5:15 when this encounter occurred.

So I let her through the gate and escorted her to the hangar where the lights were on and her dad was sitting in the back seat of his Navion, looking asleep.

Except he was cold to the touch when I climbed up the ladder to check on him. I called 911, flagged down airport security, and tried as best I could to offer some condolence to Julie (we finally introduced ourselves).

I couldn't help but think of the irony that I had just returned from yet another trip dealing with my dad in the hospital, on the border of life and death with all sorts of tubes and wires in him, making sure my mom was taken care of and dealing with the Business of Dad, and Julie's father seemed to have passed peaceably, quickly it seemed, in his airplane, still holding an approach chart in his hand.

Julie was distraught and sad, of course, at the sudden death of her father. But she told me that he had always said he wanted to die in his airplane.

He got his wish.

And that little tale has absolutely...

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