from me, to me

Dear Cynthia,

I know all the nerves have settled in this week. Each day moving you closer to Saturday, the day you fly to Austin. You don't fly well. That's what you keep telling yourself and others. There's some amount of truth there based on experience. You know what else is true? You rise to the challenge. Every time. 

Remember in 2016 when you flew by yourself to Boston? You navigated the buses and that rental car fiasco and got yourself out of the airport without driving over that toll bridge which you weren't ready for. You did it. Five days later you reversed that process and got yourself back to the airport, returned the car, and onto the plane home. All by yourself. Remember how empowered that felt? Rightly so.

Yes, you can count on less than your ten fingers the number of times you've boarded a plane and given your trust to physics and mechanics and training.  That trip to Boston. Two flights out west to visit other beautiful partsof the nation but mostly to visit your son. One flight back home from Denver, Colorado after a meandering drive there from South Carolina. That was the trip that you inadvertently were following then President George W Bush on his re-election campaign events. Oh the crowds in St. Louis and Denver. Fourteen years earlier, you flew from Memphis to Asheville. Your father-in-law picked you up.  It was a house hunting trip because you were moving back to the Carolinas. Then there was the first time, the very first time. It was 1986 and you flew to Oklahoma to be with your oh so new husband while he was training for this career of his. That flight was not a solo flight. You had a toddler in tow. But you know what you didn't have? Fear. There was no fear in the mixture of taking off on a new adventure. Oh for the courage of youth, right?

You might not have a lot of experience flying but you do have experience doing things that give you the opportunity to prove to yourself that you can do this.  You did it when you picked up your life and moved half way across the country. You did it when you stepped into this life of living and learning with nine children. You did it when you decided to release the artist from within. You did it when you walked through the death of both of your parents, both your in-laws, your brother Now your son. 

Cynthia, you have so much strength and can do attitude. I know you are tired and I know you are nervous. I simply want to remind you that you've done this before for the sake of living a bigger life. I know that is what you want going forward. You have dreams of Ireland and Italy and Iceland. Getting there will take getting on a plane. 

Flying to Austin doesn't make you a world traveler but it is a small step in that direction. 

You can do this. I believe in you.