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May 10, 2015

"Sir, can I ask you to sit in the Emergency Exit Seat?"

747.jpg

"SIR, CAN I ASK YOU TO SIT IN THE EMERGENCY EXIT SEAT?"

Twelve years ago this week, I took my last 14-hour direct flight from China. I had done so each quarter, for three years -- traveling from either Hong Kong or Shanghai to Chicago, Detroit or Newark. Living in both worlds -- China and the U.S. Doing marketing here.

But my life had changed. And this was the last of these grueling flights. Never a problem on any of the flights.

We'd been in the air 12 and a half hours. Stiff backs, stale breath, stuffed into economy seats.

Sitting about 5 rows forward from the back of the plane, I suddenly hear a stewardess, who I knew from previous flights, lean over to ask: "Sir, can I ask you to sit in the emergency exit seat?"

"Of course," I replied, getting up and walking to the back of the 747 stretch plane with her, where she motioned to sit in the seat next to the Emergency Exit.

She whispered: "Are you SURE you're comfortable handling the exit door and ramp? The pilot has informed us we've lost primary hydraulic controls. We're approaching O'Hare (Chicago airport) on backup. The runways and approaches have been cleared for our emergency landing."

I told her yes and within 30 minutes, the plane's nose was pitched up, and the pilot came on with emergency instructions for passengers as we made a shuddering final 40-minute approach.

There was no sound but that of screaming engines, shaking seats and loose luggage in the overheads.

No crying. No weeping. No anger.

No sound from passengers.

We hit the runway like a wall, stopping just short on the very last 50 yards of cement.

And broke out in applause for the Captain and crew.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all a good flight

 

 

Momma's Boy

Mother's Day Reflection:

Momma's Boy

My mom died 12 years ago.

mom.scott.josh.jpgBut, it could've been yesterday.

Because yesterday -- last night -- I came back from a business meeting and thought to myself: 'Think I'll call Mom.'

Something I did almost every night into adulthood, even with my own family,  a busy career, and across the long distance phone lines.

Of course, I couldn't call her, yesterday. 

But it's like she isn't gone; it's like I could. And I have that sudden urge many evenings.

 I told my grownup son about having this random thought; he gave me a  stare and said: "You OK, Dad?"

I may be 70, but I'll never forget my Momma. 

I'll always be a Momma's Boy.

I remember my 4'11"  red headed Mom -- not far removed McNamara/Begley Irish immigrant family, --  cooking the turkey in a bag overnight, the fresh cranberries, her special dressing and especially the pumpkin pies this time of year, and at Thanksgiving

I love pumpkin pie the way The Cookie Bear loves .... cookies.

And, at Thanksgiving, Mom always made two large pumpkin pies PLUS a small one....just for me....just for Jimmy.

I'm still a Momma's Boy.

And I'm thankful for all she gave me....not just the special pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving time.

Think I'll call her in my mind.   Just to chat about the day; perhaps share a tale or gossip about others in the McNamara-Begley clan.

"Can you hear me, Mom?"