Photo courtesy of Dan Bullard
Very early on, I knew my mom (Dot Bullard) had a fear of flying. My dad would earn trips at work to nice vacation spots worldwide. She went on some of them, but the dread of the flight would overshadow the excitement of the vacation. Then that day came when I told them I wanted to be a pilot. My dad was excited & supportive, mom was too, just filtered through her very real personal reservations. The day I soloed was so special to me. To this day, 30 years later, I remember the excitement and feeling of accomplishment that came with that milestone event. The smell of the avgas and of a well-used Cessna 152 that carried years of Mississippi summer induced aromas. That evening, I called the folks to tell them the news, and received the "Atta boy" I was looking for, from both of them. But what I received a few days later caught me by surprise.
That night of my solo call, mom sat down and put all of her thoughts on paper. She has always possessed the gift of poetry, and marked special events in our lives through that portal. The poem hangs on my wall today, and reminds me of the love and encouragement that broke through her personal reservations of flying, to encourage me to pursue my dreams. It says...
When you were still a tiny lad,
And only just so-high,
I still remember vividly
Your first attempt to Fly!
With home-made cape around your neck
You thought that you could be
Your favorite hero, "Superman"-
Your launch-pad was a tree.
Instead of flying into space
Cape flowing in the wind,
Your cape came loose,
Became a noose-,
You almost met your end!
But that was many years ago,
Now you've become a man.
Your conquests are much greater now,
Your visions much more grand.
So as you soar among the clouds,
(My heart may stop awhile),
But that shall pass,
So show your "class",
And spread your wings with style!
Thanks mom for your never ending support. I love you very much!