The widow of an airforce pilot was terrified of flying after her son dies in a crash, but her small son persuaded her to buy airplane tickets.
Is courage not ever being afraid? Or is it doing what you have to do even when you are afraid? Angelina Dupont didn't know. What she did know was that ever since her husband David died, she was afraid all the time.
She was afraid to leave the house and let their two-year-old son out of sight. She was afraid to catch a bus or cross the street. But most of all, she was afraid of flying. Because that was how David had died.
When his dad died, Danny was just two years old. | Source: Unsplash
But even though Angel (as her husband had called her) was afraid of everything, her son Danny was a brave little fellow, a natural adventurer, like his daddy.
At first, Angel made sure Danny didn't do anything she considered dangerous (she even hated it when he ran because he could fall and hurt himself) but then he went to school and became a daredevil.
Our mission is to give our children wings.
Hardly a week went by that Angel didn't have to take Danny to the ER for a sprained ankle, a bump in the head, or a couple of stitches. "But what were you doing?" asked Angel, exasperated, and the doctor stitched her son's forehead.
"I was trying to fly!" Danny explained in his most reasonable voice. "I made these wings..."
David was an Air Force pilot. | Source: Unsplash
Danny dreamed of flying, just like his father. David had joined the Air Force and had become one of their best pilots, but when he was testing a new plane, something had gone wrong.
Her beautiful husband had fallen from the sky in flames, and she wouldn't allow her son to suffer the same fate. Angel hid away every single photo that showed David in uniform or with a plane, she even hid his medals.
But Danny wouldn't forget. His father had been a pilot and that was what he wanted to be too. Maybe he felt that flying would bring him closer to the man he idolized but could hardly remember.
For Angel, airplanes had taken her husband away, and she didn't want to lose her son too. When Danny turned thirteen, he asked his mother to take him to Florida.
"You promised me when I was five you'd take me to Orlando," he reminded her.
Angel never got over her husband's death. | Source: Unsplash
"Oh!" Angel said. "Yes, I remember, but..."
"Come on, mom!" Danny said. "You always say a promise is a promise!"
"Oh, alright," Angel said reluctantly. "I'll book our bus tickets..."
"Plane tickets," Danny said firmly. "It's a two-day bus trip from Denver to Orlando, mom. We take a plane."
Angel refused. She cried and ranted, and protested, but Danny wouldn't budge. "I want to fly," he said. "I've been saving up my money and if you don't go with me I'll go alone!"
Danny's biggest dream was to fly, just like his dad. | Source: Unsplash
Angel yielded. If Danny was going to fly, she was going with him. If he died, she'd die too.
On that fateful day, Angel boarded the plane trembling and clinging to her son's arm. Danny took the window seat and buckled in, while Angel sat with her eyes closed, praying. As the plane started taxiing down the runway, Danny shivered with excitement.
"We're on our way mom!" he cried. The plane started rising and Danny whooped with excitement. "We have a take-off!"
One of the flight attendants came past and smiled. "Is it your first time on an airplane?" she asked.
"Yes!" Danny said. "But my dad was an Air Force test pilot. He was a hero!"
Angel was terrified of flying. | Source: Pexels
Angel just sat very, very still as cold sweat gathered on her forehead. "Danny," she whispered, as the plane banked. "Danny I'm so scared..."
Danny took her hand and squeezed it tight. "Mom," he said. "Mom, look..." He pointed out of the window where the plane soared above gilded cotton candy clouds.
"This is what dad loved," he said softly. "It's like touching heaven. He wasn't afraid because he knew there is a God, because he was near Him every day. When you see this, how can you be afraid?"
Tears were running down Angel's face as she gazed at the endless blue of the sky, the clouds below, and the toy world unspooling beneath them.
"This is what dad loved," he said softly. "It's like touching heaven." | Source: Unsplash
"This is what he saw..." she said. "Yes, Danny. Yes, you are right, and he loved it..."
For the rest of the flight, Angel sat holding Danny's hand and looking out the window. When the attendant came around again, Danny was in for a surprise.
"Listen," she said. "I told the pilot that your dad was in the Air Force and he looked up your name on the manifesto. Was your dad Captain David Dupont?"
"Yes," Danny said. "How do you know?"
"The Captain served with your dad!" the attendant explained. "And he'd love you and your mom to come to the cockpit!"
"Was your dad Captain David Dupont?" | Source: Unsplash
Angel was still nervous but she wanted to meet a friend of David's so she agreed to go to the cockpit with Danny. The Captain welcomed them with a big smile.
"Danny," he said. "Your dad was the best pilot I ever saw and the bravest."
"Yes, sir," Danny said. "And I want to be just like him. I want to fly!"
The Captain was delighted and he promised Danny that when they returned to Denver he'd contact him and take him flying. He'd even give him flying lessons and when the time came, he'd help Danny become a pilot.
When they were back in their seats, Angel looked out of the window again. "I think I understand now," she whispered. "And I think your daddy would be so happy to know you'd be soaring in the sky..."
Danny became a pilot just like his dad. | Source: Unsplash
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