Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Tough Act To Follow

They met in graduate school in the 1960s.

They were immediately inseparable, and continued to be so--until the plane crash.

It was a small plane. During the flight, one of the engines caught on fire. It wasn't like in the movies, where everyone runs around screaming. Passengers were silent and contemplative. They knew they were going to die.

Only they didn't. The pilot manage to land safely. But that experience left its mark.

They had a baby in the 1970s. Whenever they had to fly somewhere without their child, they bought tickets for flights one after the other--they wouldn't get on the same flight, for fear that they would orphan their beloved child.

It didn't matter how old the child got. I graduated from high school; they flew separately. I graduated from college; still, they wouldn't get on the same plane if it was just the two of them without me.

This didn't change until I was 26 years old and met the love of my life. It wasn't long after I met him, and they must have known it, too. I got a call that they were flying somewhere together.

I now had someone in my life who loved me as much as they loved each other, and as much as they loved me. Whatever happened out there in the crazy world, it would be all right.



Amy said...

Thats beautiful, their love of each other and their love of you.

Sophie Littlefield said...

oh gigi, i love this little glimpse into your parents' lives. What a beautiful story! You are all three lucky to have eah other.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Crying over here...what a lovely story! My parents always did that, as well.
And great pix. Thanks for giving us a peek;-)

Martha Flynn said...

:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) (basically i have no words)

L.G.C. Smith said...

More tears! Thank God this topic is almost done!
Seriously -- lovely, lovely post.

Mysti Lou said...

I'm so glad your parents survived! I lost my mom in a small plane accident -- my parents had also refused to fly together, and as a completely unromantic child, I had always thought they were being melodramatic control freaks. Not sure it is possible to be more wrong.

Her death has taught me to give all the love you have while you still have it to give, something your family clearly has down pat :)

Thank you for a gloriously romantic story!!!

Gigi Pandian said...

Mysti Lou -- I'm so sorry for your loss!

Until last year I never knew anyone else had parents who also split up for flights. After last year's tragic plan crash on a flight going from South America to France, there was a lot of press about one family who had split up on that flight. Only then did I hear about so many other parents who also did that.

Anne Spencer said...

Wow, Gigi--thanks for sharing--give your parents, a hello and love. What a story.

Adrienne Bell said...

Beautiful, Gigi. Just beautiful.

Your parents are sound like lovely people. And you look so much like your mother in that top picture.

Rachael said...

love love love love love love this.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! I *LOVE* this! So beautiful.

Kristin Miller said...

Beautiful story! Whenever my husband and I travel without our kids I always wonder what would happen to them if tragedy struck and we were lost. Great example of the lengths they went to for love.

Jeanne B. said...

Damn, that's beautiful.

My parents didn't travel separately--they just dragged me along with them. I guess if one goes, we all go, or so they thought. They're both gone now, but they left me only four months apart. I guess Mom couldn't wait.

Unknown said...

This is absolutely beautiful. How luck you are in your family