A year ago today he was still posting. We were still reading, discussing, chatting.
Life was normal, my morning online routine started with him. I checked back again over the course of the day, as usual.
It was during the thread of "Streamer", during our chattering, that the first harbingers of something amiss came to light. Niggling chunks of news that were unconfirmed while we mused over their meaning.
Calculated the odds. Figured how many of this and that were there, who was flying, what it could mean. As the bits trickled in it became increasingly clear that it looked bad.
Increasingly the picture emerged that it would involve him.
Our host. Who had walked away from something that he loved, that was a part of him. The Dream lived and put aside as Life moved on.
He got his chance again though. After doing the contractor thing, the cubeville thing, the Powerpoint Ranger thing, opportunity knocked.
"They" wanted him to fly fast movers again. That life among the skies was asking him back, to return to the pulse pounding life of flying for a living. Flying in high performance aircraft again, paid to roam the skies and tangle with others similarly attired. To live the Dream again.
How many of us get to go back and do it again, to live the dream and the life that others only dream of, that we walked away from, glad to have had the chance at all.
And not only get to do it again, called back.
He had to work to get back, sweating, panting, exercising for high G turns. Going back to school to learn a new air frame, older, slower than he used to fly, but still high performance fun.
There were niggling things that kept popping up. Tower folks who should have known how to guide in this craft but kept missing marks. Little things that a more manual, older bird demands that are nothing like what he spent a lifetime of flying doing.
Streamer was just that, a discussion of something gone wrong with the bird. Nothing bad, but it was one of series of things that seemed to haunt the bird. It turned out that it was a practice run for what finally happened to him. He ran out of options, air speed, gas, pretty much everything.
And in the end, he died as he lived. Doing what he enjoyed.
And we grieved and we moved on.
Unfortunately, life continues. His family still lives and deals with life suddenly without him. We do the same. We've had surgeries, graduated, changed jobs, and otherwise had to keep dealing with the current of life coming at us.
We bear witness.
We blog, we live, we chatter, we remember. For he was of us, and we of him.
And now a year later, most of us that started blogging to keep his memory alive are still doing so. Still bearing witness. Still adding our voices to the blogosphere.
That I think is the greatest tribute. Inspired by a man most of us never met, we muddle through life, adding our viewpoint in an inviting manner. Hosting sites of discussion and tolerance for opinions that diverge from our own.
I still have issues with the airfields that
I miss him and hold him in my heart. Though he is gone too soon we deal with the aftermath, for the tides and time wait for no man.
No matter how much we miss him.