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A Mom Story

I love telling this true story.

My father died in 1979. My mother was only 49. She threw herself into teaching for 15 years. Then, Mom discovered ballroom dancing, leading her to the world of dating. One particular gentleman was a small aircraft pilot. He talked her into flying down to Mexico with him for the weekend. She was not really comfortable in Commercial planes, let alone a single engine puddle jumper. He assured her he had flown this flight path many times and that it was completely safe. They lifted off in the early afternoon. The weather was perfect. The flight was easy.

Then the propeller just stopped. All Mom could hear was the loud swish of air. The pilot tried repeatedly to restart the engine but to no avail. Close enough to see the Mexican border off in the distance, he saw a clearing in the desert and decided to land there. The landing area was in at least a foot of sand. As the wheels touched down, in sand, they dug in and halted. Mom hit her head as the plane somersaulted.

They hung from their seatbelts upside down but very much alive.

Mom's head wound was bleeding up into her scalp and hair creating a red, wet mohawk. She could see well enough to unbuckle her seatbelt and help the pilot with his. When they were safely upright, the pilot found that his right ankle had been crushed. They could see the highway up the steep incline about one mile away. They both decided that Mom would have to walk to the road and flag for help. Since the sun was setting she took the flashlight with her.

She made it to the road just at dark.

Mom began waving at several passing cars, but they all sped up when they saw her. Surmising they did not know she was hurt, she began to aim the flashlight at her face. (She did not realize her forehead was now bleeding down her cheeks)

When drivers saw Freddie Krueger trying to flag them down, they sped up even faster.

Finally, a highway patrol car came up to her and stopped. Standing in the glow of headlights, Mom waved toward the plane and said, "We have been in a plane crash."

Then Mom fell forward onto the hood of the car.

The next thing she remembered, she awoke in the hospital. Unable to walk, she was basically paralyzed from the waist down. They found that she had an unusual hip compression fracture and had to tell her she might never walk again.

Six months later, Mom was out dancing.

She never again dated that "pilot."

I have always believed that my mother's mantra was,

I Am Strong and Focused!


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