Saturday, February 4, 2012

How Flying in a Biplane Healed My Soul

It's an old story. I survived a horrific plane crash in 1985 at DFW. I was one of the 12 walking wounded. Fifteen other survivors made it but were not ambulatory. 137 were killed instantly. I never imagined I would live through something like it or live with the memories which kept me from living fully for several decades.

Fast forward to 2011. Becky Morley, a local counselor, recommended I take my crash baggage to Mark Chidley, a Rapid Resolution Therapist. She had heard he was having some amazing success with patients suffering from longtime PTSD. I said I'd give it a whirl, never considering it would be a real success.

Several months after meeting with Mark I got to test the process. I flew on a commercial jet from SWFL to DCA. I felt nothing of the old rising fear, the flight-or-fight sensations or the impending sense of doom. The chains had really been broken. The healing was real.

And yet, in my mind, there needed to be one more test.

So, I asked my oldest son to go with me on a biplane ride. He agreed to go, but I'm sure he wondered if his mom had finally lost her mind. Nothing prepared us for this ride. The biplane was an original 1941 WACO refurbished prop named the SuzyQ. She was the real deal.

Our ride lasted 45 minutes and took us out over Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Sanibel Island, Ft. Myers Beach and Estero for the most stunning view of SW Florida we could imagine. The smile never left our faces. At one point I remember saying to my son, "I feel like we're in a movie!"

And as real life goes, while my son was unfolding his 6'1" frame from the open cockpit, he scratched his leg on a rusty piece of metal. This metal was OLD, folks! So, off to the doc to get a tetanus shot for my sweet son, the practical one. "And this time," he said, "I'll never forget the date of my last tetanus shot!" It was the day he flew in a biplane with his mom.

I'm still smiling. I may never stop.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vicki,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about Cape Coral to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)