So I am up later than normal. Not sure if it was that cup of coffee that I was craving, but knew I shouldn't drink and did anyway. Stress? Not feeling well? Creative mind at work? Thinking of all the house stuff left to do? Unfinished shopping list? OR if it is that awkward back to work goodbye that I had with the handsome pilot before he went back to work.
Part of me wants to check FlightAware to see how he is doing...BUT I did that once and it didn't go to well. Actually that last sentence is a HELL of an understatement and deserves a short story.
For those of you that don't know FlightAware is an site online where you (anyone) can check the status of a flight. If you know the tail number to the aircraft or the flight number if its commercial. Well one late night a few years ago (I was pregger with Audree), the handsome pilot took a week of work moving a small plane across the country with another guy. They flew out to the east coast and picked up a plane to bring back to Long Beach. They called and said that the weather had gotten bad and that he was diverting to visit his dad near Bozeman,MT for the night. Told me to track him on FlightAware and that he would call when he landed. I had never done this before...BUT what the heck. SO after a few hours I logged on entered all the information. Saw that he had taken off...followed the dashes...and BAM the plane icon fell out of the sky! Showing that it had CRASHED! NOT the page loading...not a malfunction of the website. A DOWNED AIRCRAFT! WTF and HFS and OMG! I freaked out. I called his dad who didn't answer! I called him who didn't answer! I started calling the FBO's in MT no answer! I called the 1-800 to FlightAware! I finally got ahold of some nice old man at the Bozeman airport (which was so small the calls actually went to his house)! I woke him up in what I thought was a calm concerned woman voice asking if this particular tail number had landed...which got a response of "young lady I would have to be at the airport to know that!"
I cried for about 30 minutes trying to catch my breath! Had all my worries been justified?...would his dad be showing up at the house to tell me that they were searching for wreckage?...what would I tell my children?...should I call his mom?...OK maybe I entered in the info wrong...I tried again and again...for more than an HOUR...same results! Called local hospitals of the 'crash site'...
When FINALLY I got my man on the phone he was fine. JUST FINE! Alive and not anything near a crash! Apparently the smaller planes don't always get updated as often as the commercial planes on FlightAware! Well hell...that could have been mentioned!
See on my wedding day someone asked me if I was ready to be a Pilot's Wife and I nearly laughed at the label...as I stood in a 9,000 sq foot historic airplane hangar that was decorated for our huge reception...with pink iced airplane shaped cookies...walked in as the new Mr&Mrs to the Top Gun theme song...watched planes land all night as we shared the night with our family AND I said no I am not ready to be a pilots wife, but I am going to love being his wife.
Goodness gracious what was I thinking! Guess I was thinking like any other independent woman that would be doomed in a relationship with a man who's career was actually a way of life. See pilots always have 'another love'... the sky...the plane...the office view. They also have high divorce rates! So it's no wonder our marriage has had so many 'take-offs and landings'...because my industry has high divorce rates too! For me it's rarely a factor of the 'other love' as much as it is the risk he takes.
Maybe I meet him so soon after 9/11 or that there are always plane crashes on the news or that I met him while he was still in college before he was even 21 and thought this love would fade (with the planes)! I don't know for sure. I have always been a risk vs. reward type of person and to me a job like that just was not worth the risk! Prior to marrying a pilot I was scared to death of flying...still am...except in his right seat! I have always had this strange gut fear of losing him. Even during our separation he would let me know when he was on the ground safely...after some time I stopped worrying so much. Here I am exactly 11 years after I met him still telling him to be careful every night. And finally figured out why pilots wives are labeled. Just like a cop wife or a Marine wife or all the other wives that have ever not slept with worry. BECAUSE WE F*ING EARNED IT! We are proud of our husbands. We worry for them. We love them. They have jobs with more risk than most. (PS mad props to the cop wives...I would have never even gone on a first date...that's too much stress for me:)
It took some time for me. It took finding out that there are other pilots wives (who have great blogs btw) and that I am not alone. I guess most of all it took time for me to understand that there is a handsome pilot out there who is doing what he loves and always dreamed to be...I can respect that. I can understand that and I love that. Shall the day come he wants to make me a baker's wife or a preacher's wife or a stay-at-home dad's wife...I will love any of those even more :) While being away from your spouse for work is common, it wasn't what the first 6 years of our relationship was and took some time to get used to for us both. So used to being glued at the hip for so many years and loving every minute of it...having all that time away disconnected us from who 'we' were meant to be. I think though we have seen better and we have seen worse...now we just get to enjoy the stuff in between until the new work schedule comes out or he has enough hours for an upgrade!
And right on schedule the text of safety comes in...and a beautiful nap awaits me...good night clouds he shall meet you again tomorrow :)
(Photo is from 2008--My First & Only Flight Lesson! He waited years to get me to do that! Made him happy :)