I read the letter which consisted only of the following poem.
Eight summers spent under star filled skies
Packing the plane; down to a science.
Then up! Pass the thunder. There's ice on the wings.
Rainbows, clouds, sun, and wind,
Our memories are fond; our pictures unique
But never will the tale be told without pause
There was no reason for anyone to pay attention to the car stopped by the mailboxes. That was fortunate, since I had a a hard time blinking back the tears. I thought of the last two months and the terrible emptiness inside. Obviously, my daughter felt it too. We had shared a lot in that Mooney. It had brought parent and child together as she had made the transition from teenager to adult. It was the magic carpet that transported her from college to home for four years. But most of all, in it, we spent several weeks together every year traveling somewhere and camping "under the wing". There could have been no better way for us to really get to know each other than the time we spent together with "Mike".
The current recession and a poor business climate had made me edgy about our financial situation. I suggested to my wife Gayle that we sell the airplane. She objected strongly, but I insisted. In two weeks, I had a deposit check and a contract for sale.
I was not in touch with my heart. That airplane, that Mooney, was as much a part of my identity as my face or my fingerprints. The day after I signed the contract of sale, I called the buyer.
"I can't sell you the airplane", I explained.
"Sir, you already have".
The buyer, an attorney, went on to point out that we had a binding contract; that he would sue me if I didn't perform; that it would cost me ten thousand dollars and that he'd end up with the airplane, anyway. Thus I learned something about contract law.
"But, You have no idea how much I regret my decision", I explained.
"I don't care. I am not your friend."
A consultation with a local lawyer confirmed, the situation. I was a big boy, I had made a contract and had to live with it. Friends consoled me with words to the effect that the plane was only a machine. It could be replaced.
True, true. But "Mike" can never be replaced. A day hasn't gone by when I haven't missed him. I realize, how insignificant the money issues were when compared with the emotional issues.
Friends, let me advise you to think carefully about parting with your airplanes. Don't act in a hasty manner. Include in each contract, a waiting period. But most of all, be in touch with your heart.
There is a sequel to this story.