My dear friend's husband Charles died early Saturday morning after a long battle with cancer, COPD and congestive heart failure. He designed airplanes, helicopters, and drones for the military, and was a brilliant artist who let my grandchildren watch as he painted a mural in their home. He loved flying so much that he and his wife bought a ranch in the high desert with a landing strip so that he could fly more easily. As his illness progressed he could no longer climb into a cockpit but he could identify any flying machine overhead. When his soul took flight, I thought of a poem my mother loved, although she was never a pilot.
“An aeroplane is not to us a weapon of war, but a flash of silver slanting the skies; the hum of a deep voiced motor; a feeling of dizziness; it is speed and ecstasy.”