Do you remember when the movie "Top Gun" first came out in 1986? At the time I had my heart set on becoming an astronaut and watching the flight scenes in the movie fueled my fire. I have probably watched "Top Gun" at least twenty times and I still enjoy it today. One of the things I took away from that movie was the concept of a "wingman". My Dad shared my love of all things space related. We had fun on the long drive to and from Florida the summer I was an intern at the Space Center. It was Dad I called the first time I got a flat tire on a lonely road and he stayed on the phone with me while I changed the tire. It was Dad I called when there was a HUGE spider in front of my door and I was afraid to go into my apartment. It was Dad I called when the air mattress that was my bed for the summer deflated (probably due to the pins in my curlers!!!) and I had to figure out how to fix it or buy another bed (we patched that baby :-)
Over the years our roles changed and as we went into other battles in life I became Dad's Wingman. One of the hardest things about losing him was the thought that I wasn't a good Wingman by letting him succumb to life's battle so soon. The other was my fear that I no longer have a Wingman with me here on earth. Now, just a year later I am comforted by knowing that he will always be with me in life's battles. Thank you, Wingman. Love you and miss you.
You walked with me Footprints in the sand And helped me understand Where I'm going
You walked with me When I was all alone With so much unknown Along the way Then I heard you say
I promise you I'm always there When your heart is filled with sorrow and despair I'll carry you When you need a friend You'll find my footprints in the sand