My Odyssey of Love has brought me and my daughter to New Jersey, where my and Chuck's primary community lives. We're here for a few weeks, catching up with friends. It's tough being here; Chuck had his first cancer here and all the treatments and there is so much pain and grief. And there is, also, so much love.
It has been my intent since Chuck died a year ago April to get a picture of my pink car under the wing of the static display of the C-141 at the base from where he served and retired-McGuire AFB. I tried for it last year but was unable to find the people to give me the proper permission to get my car on the grass. And I didn't want to do it without permission and bring the Security Police down on me. I ran out of time last year but, as I've traveled in these last 9 months, the thought stayed prominent in my mind. My car wasn't leaving Jersey this time without that picture.
Chuck would be proud of me. I contacted his boss from years ago and told him what I wanted to do and asked him for contact names so that I could go about setting this up. And he came through for me. A couple of emails later, I had a date and time set up. Along with a lunch date with the man in charge of the memorial and an interview with the base newspaper. My daughter and I had a private tour of the interior and we ended up meeting a man who used to work with Chuck, who just happened to wander by as we stood in the belly of the plane. Our daughter sat in the engineer's seat where he sat as the flight engineer.
And then I drove my PinkMagic rig, car and T@b trailer both, right up onto the grass for the picture I wanted. And drove it around under the tail of the plane to the other side so that we could snap a picture right next to the paver I placed for him on the walkway and under the engineer's window.
I know Chuck would be so proud that I made this happen. He'd be impressed, and he wouldn't be at all surprised because he knew what kind of woman he was married to. On my part, I feel like I have done all I can to honor his time in service and now I can carry on with my Odyssey, scattering his cremains as I forge my way into this new life I have to create for myself. Kicking and screaming all the way, but moving into.
Our son told me last year that such a picture would perfectly represent the strong relationship and marriage that Chuck and I had. The 141 is so very Chuck. The pink car and trailer is all me. The wing of the plane folds protectively over my rig.
Take a look. My pride and joy. Mission accomplished. I love you always, Chuck~