We all cheered as the P-51 Mustang landed perfectly against the backdrop of the setting sun. I was especially loud, and Ryan dubbed my loud cheering as "Mrozek" in tone. (For the record, that's my maternal grandmother's last name.) It made me cheer louder.
I looked around at the small crowd that gathered to watch Ryan fly his plane, and then my Dad's plane, and just smiled.
Tonight reminded me of old times when his closest friend would come over to our garage at our condo in Irvine before we all had kids and they would just build and work on their hobby planes and helicopters until late hours of the evening, talking about all the possibilities of building cool aircraft and robotics.
It was like life before Cancer.
There was a Labor Day sale at the local Hobby store and they each had to get their own new remote control P-51 Mustangs and that's how this week began.
On Monday, my Dad flew into town and after Talitha and I picked him up, we drove up to our house just as Ryan's friend and his cousin showed up to start "Hobby Day." Ryan had been dropped off already after driving with his friend and friend's cousin to local and not-so-local hobby stores within a 50 mile radius and was busy setting up the hobby table in the middle of the garage so that everyone could build their planes when we pulled into the driveway.
It was 90 degrees, but throughout the day when I went out to deliver "perfect" lemonade, I never heard a complaint because they were all having so much fun during their day off.
After they spent the day building their airplanes, they all went to the park - Talitha and I in tow. It was pretty exciting to see the P-51's fly, even though Ryan narrowly missed the light poles in the parking lot during take-off due to the tail-heavy nature of these particular models.
Then, Ryan and his friend fired up their F-4 Phantoms and flew together over the large grassy field in the local park only a few minutes from our home. His friend's cousin and my Dad, Talitha and I stood and watched the two of them cross paths, perform barrel rolls and narrowly miss hitting each other in a mid-air collision.
It's amazing how the remote control planes draw a crowd. People are so enthralled with the idea of flying, especially when it looks so effortless.
Ryan has been flying model aircraft since he was a boy, and 30 years later he is definitely not a novice. People are drawn to his mad remote-control flying skills because he was born with a gift for it.
They look up to see his talent in motion.
The Bible says in Psalm 8:1, "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!"
I look up and thank God for such a small piece of electronics that helps my husband to soar high with happiness, and help bring joy to other people as well.
I started reading the book Fly a Little Higher about a boy who got cancer and died four years after his diagnosis, just after his 18th birthday. He lived intentionally and did the things he wanted to do between his diagnosis and death.
His story inspires many people to embrace each day as a gift and our family is no exception.
I think of the story's title related to Ryan's recent aerobatic antics and smile.
Fly a little higher, Ryan.
Fly until the Cancer is no longer visible.
We received our report back from our CT scan last Monday. Everything is stable. Except the first line of the scan report documented a change.
"One or two tumors are no longer visible."
What a thrilling report!
There are very few times this level of good news has caught us off guard - but I, for one, was absolutely excited to hear that some of the cancer is completely gone!
It gives me hope that, one by one, those terrible tumors are going to fly away, off into the heavens and never, ever come back because they will all be "no longer visible."