flying over the deep blue sea

Give Me Wings


I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly

I’d fly above the trees
Over the seas in all degrees
To anywhere I please

Oh I want to get away
I want to fly away   –   Lenny Kravitz

I started writing this in the air about about four and a half hours into a flight to Phoenix which was the first half of our trip to Hawaii. I pulled out paper and pen and wrote like a mad woman because that is exactly what I was. I think I made it clear that I don’t fly well and I was so screwed up in my head that the idea of pulling my laptop out of my bag felt like it would take Herculean effort…so I went old school.

I forgot how much I love to write by hand.

I had been up since 3:00 a.m. to get everyone ready to catch a 7:00 a.m. flight. Although exhausted and medicated sleep on a plane is next to impossible for me so this seemed like a good way to pass the time.

Preparing for this trip, seven days and five thousand miles away from home, had been a nightmare. More accurately, I had been a nightmare. The whole process seemed to be comedy of errors right down to the email opened at 11:00 p.m. to check in and get our boarding passes, five hours before we left for the airport, only to find the word in panic inducing bold…NOT BOOKED.

It was the wrong email.

Leaving our home, I inevitably believed I forgot to pack something vital or left another something plugged in or switched on that should most decidedly be unplugged or switched off. I made my husband stop at a shady convenience store at 4:45 a.m. so I could break every rule that I have about public restrooms and be sick.

Since the gods of travel apparently have me marked as public enemy number one, my twelve year old daughter set off  the alarm for an apparent random inspection which required the TSA agent to shout, “There! That’s her mother!” and pull me aside to search me and wipe down every single electronic device in my carry on. (I would have this happen twice more in two different airports on this trip but by the third time I was prepared to just strip down and fly home naked.)

For a bit my anxiety seemed to have fled. Until we sat down at the gate. I became aware of the cold drops of sweat forming on my upper lip and the steady increase of my heart rate. My stomach began to churn as the six of us took our place in line to walk what I had come to view as my own personal Green Mile.

I told my husband to board the plane with the kids and I turned and literally ran for the bathroom. I locked myself in a stall, my entire mind and body involved in the throes of intense and unrelenting panic. I knew without a shred of uncertainty that there was absolutely, positively no way I was getting on that airplane.

Rewind to a few days before when my husband and I were looking up the locations of the activities we wanted to plan. We pulled up Google Earth, the wondrous tool that shows where all the places are. Curious, I wanted to zoom out and see just how far Hawaii actually is from Florida. How, after years of schooling and a fair amount of intelligence, I didn’t realize the Hawaiian Islands are extraordinarily tiny spots of land in a very, very large expanse of the Pacific I will never know.

The thought of being on an airplane with nothing, nothing, nothing but water, water everywhere terrified me.

I had never been to Hawaii and it was on my bucket list. An opportunity arose and we decided to pull the kids out of school, even our college freshman, and make what is usually a getaway for Jeff and me a family vacation. It was a first for all of us and who knew if the chance would come around again? Our kids are still young enough to experience wonder that is simply magical…hell, so am I!

We planned free range horseback riding and a helicopter tour over an active volcano, waterfalls, and other botanical sites. Jeff was taking the older kids zip-lining over some of the waterfalls and a rainforest. We were really looking forward to snorkeling with spinner dolphins in their natural habitat, not a man made site with trained animals. (The unexpected bonus was that it was whale season and while we were underwater we could hear the whales singing and even caught sight of a few breaches from the boat. I’ve never seen anything so breathtaking.)

I told myself many things while locked in that bathroom stall, willing my heart to slow and my breathing to return to normal. I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans, stood up and opened the stall door. I went to the sink and washed my hands. Not minding anyone else in the room I took a long, hard look at myself in the mirror and said out loud, “You have done brave and amazing things, some far more frightening than getting on an airplane and flying to paradise. Your family is waiting for you. Get your ass on that fucking plane.”

I went to the gate and walked the gangway, taking every step and every breath with intention. I was the last person to board and as I made my way down the aisle I caught sight of my family, watching for me, their relief evident. I swallowed my fear, got on that plane and the one after that…..

and I flew over the deep blue sea.



Photo credit: Ryan Jacques/

36 thoughts on “Give Me Wings”

  1. You have been on my mind every day for two weeks. I could almost see the scene in the bathroom as you gave yourself that final pep talk. Bravo for you!
    I hope the trip was everything you dreamed it would be…thinking fondly of you – your wings are beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My goodness, you are so sweet! It warms my heart to know you were thinking of me. I was probably a little hard on myself but I’m stubborn and was seriously worried about missing that flight. I would never have forgiven myself. Thank you, Michelle, for always saying the kindest things.


  2. So jealous. Whales… sigh…. I went out to the east coast one summer, but it was too early for whales. Some day….


  3. Now that you have flown so many miles, and most of them over the deep and huge Pacific Ocean I am curious; has your fear of flying abated at all? I hope that your trip was wonderful. I have been to Hawaii but would love to go again.


    1. You know, although I still don’t like being closed up in an airplane or being so far from the ground I never had another panic attack and I got on and off three more planes between the trip out and home. I even flew in a helicopter while on the island! I can’t explain it but if I have to fly again, I’m sure y’all will hear about it!


  4. As somebody who loves to vacation in Florida, I’ve always wondered where people who get to live there vacation. Now I know! So jealous! My favorite part is where your family was seemingly going to fly to Hawaii even if you’d have stayed in that stall. I would have left you too, sorry.

    My wife and I went to Jamaica on our honey moon 12 years ago now and I was miserable on the flight down there. I don’t know what it was, because I’d always been just fine with flying, but for some reason I was having what I guess was a panic attack. It was pretty brutal. I’m surprised my wife didn’t ask for a divorce once we landed. Lol.

    I’m glad to read you’re back safe and sound and had a memorable trip. I love that you wrote old school. I use a stylus and like to write on my iPad, but if I’m being honest with myself, pencil and paper work the best. Wow, what a stupid ass, pointless comment! Lol. Sorry.


    1. There was nothing stupid ass or pointless to this comment. I appreciated every word, Don. I’m really glad you’re here! Truthfully, being from Florida we have plenty to see and do right here. Except Disney. We don’t do Disney. It’s obviously mandatory at least once when you have kids but otherwise we stay away. Hawaii was a blessed opportunity.

      My family was on the plane, don’t forget. They would have left me there. They wouldn’t have liked it (I hope) but they would have left me in a heartbeat! And I wouldn’t have blamed them. That’s why I got my ass on the plane! I have to be honest…I have no idea how my family puts up with me most days. But I’m glad they do.

      I’ve just gotten a phone with a stylus (which I just remembered!) and it was for the sole purpose of being able to write things down. I find texting things in a bit tedious. And I’m blind.

      Thanks again for the great comment. It was more like a conversation. One I enjoyed very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You brave brave girl. Bravo!!! And the whales, aren’t they amazing?? That ocean is spectacular. I’m glad you flew over it to have that experience. Now to fly to the SisterWife meet up whenever it is. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Mandi! The whales! It was glorious and just like you said in our text…magical! I can still hear them. Thank you for calling me brave but the whole time I was writing I thought how foolish to be so frightened. But I guess we all have our fears, right?

      The Sisterwives meet would be epic, no doubt. How about Florida? I hear it’s nice there ;).


    1. It was most definitely worth it, Dani! I will remember it forever and so will my family. Once we touched down, the fear was all but forgotten and fortunately it didn’t come back full force after that first flight. Thank you for the kindness. It means a great deal to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Let me say I LOVE this post!! I am a firm believer that pen and paper give you something special to start with. It frees your mind where I find sitting at your computer gives you a totally different frame of mind. As soon as the pen hits your fingers you start to think of everything. Isn’t that weird? Try it more often because this was exquisite writing at its best! !


    1. I can’t tell you how much I love this compliment! I’ve written a few posts by hand before typing them and they are always my favorites. I have always loved to write by hand, I have no idea what it is but it just feels so good. Perhaps it is the frame of mind. It does seem that the ideas and words just kind of flow when you don’t think of formatting and hitting the wrong keys. The words flow free.

      Looks like I’ll be writing many more posts by hand! Thank you again!


    1. Thank you Barb! I surprise myself sometimes at both the things that make me feel weak and the strength I manage to find. Thank you for saying so. XX back at ya!

      By the way, I love your new fella’s paintings. They are incredible! Our daughter is at school in St. Augustine and the next time I’m there I’m looking you up!


  7. I can tell you I just did a hurkey for your AMAZING GIANT BALLS!!!

    I’ve been there. Flying anxiety is AWFUL.

    Getting on the plane when you’re having a panic attack takes courage to new lengths. SO proud of you!


  8. And you DID IT!!!! I love the raw and real look into your experience with this anxiety that can truly grab hold of us and paralyze us. You took control and YOU had the POWER to step through it. Oh, do I hope you were blessed with the most amazing experience your family could ever have!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This story actually brought about some visceral reactions as I read it! When you told your family to get on the plane and you went to the bathroom, I was feeling panicky, saying “No, no – don’t do that!” even though I KNEW that you had made it to Hawaii. And the thought of actually hearing whales sing while snorkeling just took my breath away. I’m so glad you had a great time!!


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