The fighter jet, a North American F-86 Sabre, flamed out. Or perhaps it ran out of fuel. Certainly, the later would cause the former – the extinction of flame in the combustion chamber – but the events are not necessarily synonymous. In the milieu of flight, these things happen. In the milieu of memory, what matters is that you safely returned to Earth.

The pilot has two friends was what you told me – speed and altitude. So you stayed high and continued your flameless glide. This was the right stuff – surfing the clouds and hoping for a break, for a sighting of Earth. 

With luck, you make your own, so why not double-up. When that break in the clouds appeared, not only was there Earth but also a glimpse of runway. You landed and because of that, so did I. You once broke the sound barrier, and now you have broken the speed of Earth and are with the stars, finally admitted to the space program.

In your all too brief instructions, the doomsday book, you began at the end and returned to the beginning. This is my journey to rediscover your life – my homage to you. This is how my mind works when inspiration steals sleep at 3am most nights. This is how I feel it all, find my compassion and kindness, and regain my footing on this Earth.

This will be the first time I am missing your encouraging comment on this blog – “well written son.”