Photos and Words by Rebecca T. Dickinson
My husband and I often escape to the airport overlook in Charlotte. Before our son’s birth, we went to forget problems.
Now we go to forget the fact we are without full-time jobs. No matter how hard we work it feels we will never take off. We are like pilots in the time of Charles Lindbergh. We don’t know if our plane will make it across the Atlantic Ocean.
A few days before Lindbergh took flight two French co-pilots set out from France. They crashed and their bodies were never found. How much work did it take to get a plane to take off and go across an ocean?
From what I read in Lindbergh’s biography, it took a lot of guts and prayer. Despite the odds, Lindbergh used his intelligence and found a way.
Bon Jovi’s song Livin’ on a Prayer tells our story. If you look at the song, you find something deeper than a head banger song.
Tommy’s got six string in hock
Now he’s holdin’ in
what he used to make it talk.
So tough, it’s tough
Those who listen wonder how the couple in the song will make it. Both verses cover the desperation. Lindbergh’s biographer, A. Scott Berg, shows the self-doubt Lindbergh suffered when he couldn’t find money to fund his flight or when he went to New York. The company said it would fund a plane, but it would pick its own pilots. Lindbergh refused their offer.
Just like the song, I hocked my guitar. I once wrote songs, and haven’t since I decided to put my focus on writing and education.
What happens when you’re a writer searching for hope whether you have bills piling up; you cannot land the job you want; your job’s been cut; your writing—like Stephen King—at the coin laundry; or everyone seems to doubt your dreams?
We’re halfway there livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand. We’ll make it I swear.
John and I have fought and kept hope for more than three years. We hope for our son to play in a front yard, for someone to give us a shot at one of the many jobs we apply and interview for, and for us to succeed.
Bills come. John never gives up. His hope offers faith.
John trained to become a pilot when he was younger. Due to slight color blindness, he was refused his pilot’s license. He described the happiness he felt in the air.
As we watch planes take off and land in Charlotte, I wonder what will it take to make my wings fly. We all know the low odds of becoming a successful author, yet we remain optimistic creatures if we keep going.
People once believed man would not cross the Atlantic Ocean. Even though Lindbergh made the historic flight without a co-pilot, I thought writers need encouragement and critique.
When it comes to support, I’ve been very lucky. No matter what happens, John stays in the co-pilot seat even though we now fly through black clouds and over the Bermuda Triangle.
What gets me is he never pulls away from his faith in my talent as a writer. We face tough choices in the coming months, but we are still livin’—literally—on a prayer.