Woot! Nine years helicopter crash-free!
On January 26, 2013, my friend John Strayer and I survived a helicopter crash, along with the pilot. It wasn’t my first near-death experience, but it remains my most recent, a fact for which I am thankful.
When you reflect on such things, you are reminded why you are still here. I’ve lost touch with Graham Harward, the pilot whose skill in mitigating the danger of a compromised aircraft saved all our lives. I can tell you that John, whose hand was driven through shattered Plexiglas at the moment of impact while holding a loaded Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum that he had no time to re-holster, recovered with some scars on that mangled hand and went on to win more pistol matches. More important, though, he was there to do a lot of good for his many employees and the thousands of customers he served, and went on in the nine intervening years to be there for his nonagenarian mom when his dad passed a few months ago.
On my end, I’ve had nine more years to teach things to good people, and to be there for my kids when their mom passed in April of last year. Some lives and more careers saved in cases mostly won in court, and to help pick up the pieces of the few we lost. One such led to an appeal that we won, and in the second trial, we at last won acquittal and freedom for a wrongfully accused, convicted and imprisoned woman. The other one that pained me to lose in 2019, I learned just this past week was reversed on appeal, and I have every reason to believe we’ll win for the young man in question in the second trial.
I also have an indefinitely postponed retirement, because a lot of the things you can’t do for people when you’re dead, you can’t do for them if you’re retired, either.
The blog entry I wrote the night we got home from the crash site still holds the record for the number of reader responses here. I thank our good readers for that.
Perhaps the lesson is, when you bask in the survival euphoria of having cheated Death, it reminds you of what your purpose is in Life.