Robert Frost has always been a favorite of mine. Though I don't read a lot of poetry, his is most familiar to me. And truth be told, I am fond of his work. So what better way to start the new month than with the poem "October"?
So, October is upon us, whether we wish it or not. This month finds me in a pensive mood. Perhaps because the Missus Herself and I went to a memorial service for the mother of a very good friend. Her Mom was born the same year as my Mom. Having lost my Dad not quite four years ago, losing my Mom is not something I'm ready for.
But who is ever ready for such an event?
When I was a kid there were at least two generations ahead of my generation. 'Lo these many years later, there is only a single generation ahead of mine. And they seem to be fading fast. Now, increasingly, it is my generation that is next in line for eternity.
So there I was, dwelling on my own mortality as I pondered how to start the month. Then, as is my custom, I was Googling images dealing with October in some way, shape or form. That's when I came across the following photo, which was intermingled with a number of October-themed images. Why, I know not.
A young lady of my children's generation, from my very own Air Force. Buried in Arlington. I could not help but investigate further. Her story broke my heart.
Gone West: Taryn Robinson
13 January 2006
Air Force Grad Severely Injured In DA-20 Accident
She held on longer than anyone expected... but Aero-News has learned Second Lieutenant Taryn Robinson, the 22-year-old Air Force pilot who was severely burned in a September crash that claimed the life of her flying instructor, succumbed to her injuries Tuesday. She would have been 23 years old next month.A young lieutenant, just starting her flying career. Then it was over, scarcely before it had even really begun. And for me, another fallen warrior whom I shall remember always.
As was reported in Aero-News, Robinson and her civilian instructor were flying near San Antonio, TX on September 21, 2005, when their Diamond DA-20 clipped power lines and impacted the ground, coming to rest inverted in a grass field.
Robinson's instructor, who worked for Stinson Flying School, is believed to have been pilot-in-command of the two-seat trainer when it went down. He perished at the scene, but a passer-by was able to pull Robinson from the wreckage as it caught fire.
She still suffered third-and-fourth degree burns over 80 percent of her body, as well as several additional injuries. Over the last three-and-a-half months, Robinson had undergone countless skin grafts, and had been fighting a blood infection.
Robinson was the daughter of former Goodfellow AFB commanding officer Loci Robinson, according to the San Angelo Standard Times. She had been assigned to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio when she was injured.
The young lieutenant, a member of the Air Force Academy's graduating Class of 2005, had been learning to fly as part of the Air Force's flight training program, according to the Standard Times.
Second Lieutenant Taryn Robinson has gone west, where there is no more pain, and nothing to restrict her pursuit of the thing she loved most -- flying. Happy landings, Lieutenant. (Source)
It's odd the things you find while looking for something else.
Serves as a reminder though, there is no one ahead of you in the line to enter eternity. It could happen to anyone at any time. Keep that in mind as you wander down life's path.
Life is short. Too short.
Cherish those around you.