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Friday, April 3, 2009

Red Dress Diary - Entry Four, Love Is A Ride On A B-17


Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Here's the four entry:


The best gifts we receive usually don't cost a lot of money. They come straight from the heart, and really do have a lot of thought behind them.

Tom recently heard that rides on a vintage B-17 aircraft were going to be offered at a local air show. After deciding that I would probably kill him if he spent $425 on a half-hour ride, he opted to buy forty dollars worth of raffle tickets in an attempt to win the flight for me.

My Dad was the radioman on a B-17 during World War II, and Tom knew how much it would mean to me to be able to sit on that tiny seat, surveying all the communication equipment my deceased father would have used during his thirty-five successful bombing missions.

Tom told me about this "second anniversary of our meeting" gift and I was thrilled. It didn't matter if he won. It was the idea that he would, one: remember the day we met, and two: want to give me such an emotional experience. And then--he won!

I took my amazing ride on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I had mentioned my father to someone as we boarded. Immediately a crew member took me to the radioman's seat and strapped me in. Then he whispered, "You Dad is here with you."

I got more than a lump in my throat looking out the little window, as we soared above the trees in that enormous plane. I tried to imagine what horrific things Dad might have seen during combat, and I was once again thankful that he and many other men and women made such great sacrifices to insure my freedom.

Tom and my father never had the opportunity to meet, but I know my Dad is happy to know that I am marrying a man who gave me such a wonderful, loving gift.

Melinda (Mad Dog)

Check out the full story and photos of Mad Dog's B-17 flight on Milkbone's April 6th blog entry!

10 comments:

Mary Cunningham said...

What an amazing gift you received, Melinda! The B-17 ride and Tom!

http://www.cynthiasattic.blogspot.com
http://www.booklandheights.blogspot.com
http://www.marycunninghambooks.com

Diana Black said...

Up in the air, Mad Dog Mindy!
Up in the air, way up high!
Up in the air, Mad Dog Mindy!
something something something something ... sky!

Great post, great gift, great guy...

Diana

http://basicblackblog.blogspot.com
http://booklandheight.blogspot.com
http://wendelwordsworth.blogspot.com

lindacassidylewis said...

Oh, what a beautiful story! I'm choked up now thinking about my father, but that's good.

And what a thoughtful man is Tom!

Thank you for sharing.

WOOFers said...

Thank you Linda. I am so lucky to have had such a great experience. Like you said, it does choke you up, but that is a good thing when it comes to remembering our Dads.

Melinda

WOOFers said...

Thanks Mary and Diana. You two are the best!!!!!

Melinda

Eileen Williams said...

Oh! What a lovely and thoughtful gesture from your man. As you wrote, it was a twofold gift--one of remembrance of your meeting and one of recognition for your feelings about your dad.
This one is definitely a "keeper." Just wish your dad were still around to walk you down the aisle. But he's singing praises of joy in heaven I'm sure!

WOOFers said...

Eileen, you are so right about my Dad. He even gave me a "sign." I wore a charm bracelet I had received as a child that day--one from the Air Force Academy where we lived in the sixties. It seemed fitting for my experience since it had planes on it. As I boarded the aircraft, the bracelet broke and fell to the floor. I quickly stuffed it in my pocket, and did not discover until much later that several links and the falcon charm were missing. I guess Dad wanted a little part of our past to stay on that B-17!

Melinda

Diana Black said...

Mad Dog, your dad was most definitely making his presence known! This experience just keeps getting better and better!

Diana
http://booklandheights.blogspot.com

Betty said...

Since you had just written a piece recalling your elderly dad's memories as a radio man, the timing of your ride on the B-17 (thanks, Tom!), sitting in that seat, and having your bracelet fall off--well, it all sounds like synchronicity in the spiritual realm. Gives me goose bumps--the good kind! Hugs, b

WOOFers said...

Betty--

I so agree about the spiritual aspect of my experience and how it all came together. I had just finished a story about the "best damn radioman" and then this all happened!

Melinda