Friday, July 8, 2011

Grateful-and Holding

Here's the challenge. Write for 5 minutes. No rewrite. No edits. Write straight from your heart for the pure joy of forming the words and sentences that put expression to your thoughts and feelings. Then, link up to The Gypsy Mama and share the link. 

Its 5 Minute Friday, y'all!  Come on and join the fun!

The prompt:  Grateful

In April of 1981, I sat in front of my black and white television with an infant in my arms and a toddler at my side and watched the first launch of our new Space Shuttle program. Tears of wonder and awe streamed down my face.  I was not yet a full-blown space nerd, but I was entralled with the program and wanted to be sure that my children grew up aware and excited about the US Space Program. 

I thought of watching launces during school and that thrilling Sunday evening when we saw the pictures of the first moon walk.  It was an exciting time to be alive.

Little did I know in 1981 that my life would take the course that it has, or that space flight would become such a part of my life.  My husband, my amazing Rocket Man, builds space flight hardware.  He is a NASA subcontractor and has been involved with the Shuttle program for 29 years.  I have walked the past 13 years of his career with him.

It was one of the greatest thrills of my life to be beside him on October 28, 2009 when  ARES IX launched successfully and to know of his part in it. 

Tonight... this morning...I am watching the end of that era.  Atlantis is on the pad and the clock is at T-3:00:00 and holding. 

And I am very grateful.  Grateful to have had a brush with this noble dream and program of a proud America.  Grateful that I can tell my grandchildren and great-grandchildren that their Granddaddy was a part of that.  Grateful that something so amazing and awesome a part of our everyday life.  Grateful that when I crest the hill of my daily drive, I look out and see Saturn Rockets strongly standing sentry at the entrance to our town, Rocket City USA.

The beginning and end of an era.  And I am grateful to have been a witness.  I will not soon forget. 
Godspeed, Atlantis.  Fly true and wing your way back to us.  For all you represent.  For all your proud moments of glory.  For the brave crew who have flown you over and over again.  I am grateful.

photo added after timer...taken with my phone
from the television coverage of NASA TV


Alyssa said...

That is just very cool and super interesting! I think your grandbabies will love hearing the stories about Rocket Man's Atlantis work. Found you on five minute friday :)

The Wild Optimist said...

I like this! I am in Orlando, and appreciate the feelings behind it. What a great word for how everyone associated with the program should feel for the experience! Savor every second today? And thank you for writing! I'll be thinking of you during it's mission!

Mollianne said...

Alyssa, it is so interesting. My grandsons called the Shuttle "Granddaddy's Shuttle" when they were little. The oldest wants to be a rocket engineer when he grows up.

Optimist, our gratitude tastes a bit bittersweet today here in Huntsville, AL. So many people have lost work with the cancellation of Constellation and more facing lay-offs when Atlantis returns. I know it is just as bad...proably worse on the Space Coasat. Trying to savor the launch and not let it get me down. Thank you for the word Optimist today ;)

Sara said...

So interesting! I will always remember watching the Space Shuttle launch in 1983. Awesome!