Engine trouble. That’s what the pilot said over the PA. As we were diverting to Raleigh Durham for an emergency landing. One of our engines was potentially malfunctioning.
Obviously, crashing and burning crossed my mind.
Precautionary. That was the word he used to keep everyone at ease. I think it worked. At least for a while. Until he repeated the word fifteen minutes later, when he told us to not be alarmed when we see emergency vehicles lining the runways when we land. That was also…precautionary.
Death and dying. I believe most people on that flight had at least a fleeting thought. I definitely did. I saw my own personal sunset up there.
Every time there was turbulence. Every time I heard a noise. Death would enter my mind. On a landing plane, there’s a good bit of turbulence felt. You hear a lot of noises.
I wasn’t scared. I am honestly prepared for the end, if it should come to that.
And I have lived a very full life. Been blessed with so much. Been blessed by so many great friends. A great family. And more great people that I meet, seemingly every day. I have had so many incredible experiences, with truly great people. I mean, I was just a day removed from being at the Super Bowl. With my brother. One of my four siblings, all of which I adore, idolize, and am best friends with, all at the same time.
And the Monday morning after that Super Bowl, I got a bonus snow day with my kids. They are still up north, while I travel back and forth to work. So an extra six hours with them…is meaningful to me. It was special for me.
Despite the pounding snow, my plane still took off that evening. And there we were. In the air, potentially going to crash…possibly going to die.
I took to thinking, of course. It’s what I do. I think. And I write.
Scared really wasn’t it. We had about 30 minutes from the time the pilot first announced it, to the time we landed, and I honestly just kept thinking…I’m not done yet.
I’m not. I’m not done. With life. With living. Not yet.
Why would I be? There is so much left to do.
So much life to live. So many great things to do in this world. So many amazing places to see. So many more big hugs to get. And to give. So many more laughs to share. And so much more love to have in this life. And more tears to shed. Of joy. And even of sadness. I love feeling emotion.
I have so many more people that I want to help in this world. And so many people that I would want to have help me. Something I know sounds strange, but just gives me such a warm feeling to know people are out there. Ready to drop what they are doing to help. Wanting you to feel better. Wanting you to move forward.
I want more kisses from my dog. And my kids. And my wife. And my nieces and nephews. And siblings. And parents. And in-laws. I want to play more. And travel more. And eat more. And drink more. I want to get better. I want to be great. At everything. I want to feel like I worked really hard to be great at something. And I want that feeling, knowing that I worked hard enough to deserve to be great, to happen over and over and over and over again.
I live proudly. So much so, that I welcome death, if and when it comes. And through embracing my own death, I have built a life that I am not done living yet. I feel like I am barely out of chapter one. In my first book. And I have volumes to write.
We landed safely, obviously. As I’m not posting this from the grave. I don’t think we were ever in any real danger. But I’ll never know.
The one thing I do know is that I have a lot of life left to live. And I am going to live it. Until my very last breath.