This past Sunday, May 4, I decided to head to the Spirit of St. Louis AirShow in memory of my father, who was a flight instructor during World War II... to see the awe and feel the inspiration of these expert pilots maneuvering their incredible flying machines in ways most of us can only dream about.
There were aircraft including the B25, B17, TBM Avenger, F-8F Bearcat, F4U Corsair and of course, the elite of the elite, the Blue Angels... as well as many more.
Nearing The Spirit of St. Louis Airport, I couldn't believe how bad the traffic was and decided to pull a u-turn and ended up parking by an open grassy knoll next to the St. Louis Exotic Car Dealership.
I sat on the roof of my car on a blanket, journaling and watching the airshow from a distance... still pretty amazing.
Though I did not get to see the Blue Angels, the true highlight of the show, was meeting an incredibly inspirational young lady and her mother.
The girl sat in her wheelchair with her mother directly behind her, both oooh-ing and awe-ing at the aerial feats of the airshow.
just before leaving, I went over to say hello and introduced myself. This is when I met Beverly and her mother, Barb.
After a bit of typical chit chat, I asked if it would be okay to inquire as to why Beverly was in a wheelchair and mentioned my younger brother had had a neurological disorder, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Barb proceeded to share how at a very young age, a young neighborhood boy had somehow managed to get his hands on one of his father's handguns and was showing off when the gun went off.
Though not right there with the small group of kids, Beverly ended up being in the path of the bullet, which entered her skull.
Imagine the horror...
Told there was no chance, Barb chose to believe in her daughter and in her own strength. The two of them chose COURAGE and committed to take it step by step, day by day.
Today, Beverly is a charming, smiling, beautiful girl with a quick wit and an amazing, courageous attitude.
She shared that she wants to go skydiving soon! Her mom thinks she is crazy as she doesn't want to jump out of a plane, but will support her daughter with this dream. I am sure it will happen soon
Beverly and Barb, it was an inspirational honor meeting the two of you. You are obviously an unstoppable team with a foundation of love, attitude and determination.
Know you have impacted me and my life. I look forward to remaining in touch with the two of you.
Thank you for the truly courageous, inspirational example you both set and for the reminder that there really are no excuses.
Indeed, Awareness and an Attitude of Gratitude make all the difference in the world.
So... when did you last ask yourself, "What's my excuse?"