Home > Family, Love, Parenting > “Amy, I love you.”

“Amy, I love you.”

Preparing for my son’s first flight was nervewracking. I had flown many times myself, but was suddenly concerned about the impact of possible catastrophe on my son.

Not remotely satisfied by the general oft-spoken assertion “you’re safer in a plane than a car,” I did my own research about the safety of flight. What remains with me three years later is not any specific statistic but the four words in this post’s title.

This page documents the last words recorded on crashed airplanes’ black boxes. Most are as you would expect–expletives, queries, statements about unexpected obstacles–but there was this one that diverged.

“Amy, I love you.”

First Officer Warmerdam, who spoke those words, survived both the crash and the resulting fire.

When I am feeling overwhelmed, I often think of those words. I wonder what, if I got a chance not only to choose them but have them relayed, would be my last four or five words. Boiling the hubbub of life down to this single question takes away any confusion or ambiguity.

Those words would be for me son. “Li’l D, I love you.” If I only got to leave a single enduring thing in this world after I pass away, hopefully many decades from now, it would be the truth imparted by those words.

My life is full of many truths, many loves and much bustle. Beneath all that is one singular truth: bustle is bustle, which comes and goes.

Love, on the other hand, comes and grows.

Categories: Family, Love, Parenting Tags: , , ,
  1. March 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

    This, this is the most perfect thing I have read in a very long time. My heart tears for each of us that can’t boil it down to this.

    Thank you and you know, I love you not just for this but for all the wonderful things you have shown and taught.

  2. March 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Nothing else truly matters :-).

  3. March 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Beautiful, Deb. This struck a chord within me. I think of this off and on, wanting my last words to mean something to my family. My mom’s last words were wonderful to me. She was frightened because the end was near. I had tried several things to ease her mind, finally hitting on the image of us dancing. She smiled through her oxygen mask and said, “you be Fred and I’ll be Ginger”. She slipped into a coma right after, not to awake again. I love, love how this is with me for the rest of my life.

  4. March 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Sniff, sniff. Wipe, wipe. Ahem

  5. April 5, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Well put, as always :D.

  6. April 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Oh boy this gave me chills. Our bags are packed (mostly) and we are doing the last minute things around the house (so why am I blog cruising?) before we go to the airport.

    Love, love. I wish to leave behind me in this world the notion that I have loved and that so many people have touched my life and my soul.

  1. January 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm
  2. December 11, 2015 at 6:59 am

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