What I Learned from My Mother’s Fear of Flying

My mother never flew. The farthest she traveled was a trip to see Aunt Ro in Chicago. I’m not trying to embarrass my mother. She had a very common fear. Some people find a way to overcome this type of fear. Britney Spears. Jay Leno. To name a few. Others don’t. It is alleged that Agnetha Faltskog’s fear of flying resulted in the disbandment of ABBA! Like with Faltskog, my mother’s fear of flying prevented her from experiencing many adventures. As part of my quest, I wanted to figure out what that might mean. Here is my attempt.

The espionage of self-justification.

When my mother was asked to explain her fear of flying she used what I call the “blind son card”.  In the unlikely event that her plane was obliterated in a devastating explosion she worried that no one would be around to take care of Brother Bill.

Yes, Bill can be a tad annoying and a scoop demanding but by putting up an impenetrable barrier she prevented her own progress. No one would dare try to trump the ‘blind son card.’

We all hide behind self-justifications at one point or another. Although it seems like we’re getting away with something at the time we’re only inhibiting our own potential, or so I glean. Recently, on a trip to California I had two light bulb moments: 1. My mother would have loved California. 2. Acknowledging the responsibility that comes with something like starting to put yourself out there as a metaphorical shoulder can be freightening.

Biking in Sonoma

Location: Sonoma County, CA - Act of Insanity: Biking through wine country - Upside: Beautiful view! - Downside: The constant fear of being flattened by a large truck or SUV.

Overcoming fear i.e. I have a favor to ask.

Working to make Mama Quest helpful, and just plain good, is my California. For now I’ve decided to lean on you. I’m asking for your participation. Here is your first assignment. I’m interviewing Dr. Ken Doka on October 18. He is the leading expert in grief counseling. What should I ask him? Should it be a podcast? Or a straight interview?

Ideas for questions: Many of the books I’ve flipped through on grief focus on someone’s journey. I don’t mean to be insensitive but I battled depression after my mom passed away. The last thing I want to do is read 300 pages about depression. Also some of the titles are so depressing I can’t even get myself to open them. I’ve been on some support sites that seem very inactive and even ones with pictures of people crying. Really? I won’t say the organization, but are you kidding me?

Please. I know you have opinions, and you definitely don’t always agree with mine. What do you think? Shout it if you know it.


Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)


1 Comment

Filed under Auntie Rosie, Discoveries, grief, mother, parent

One response to “What I Learned from My Mother’s Fear of Flying

  1. My vote is for a straight interview. I will brainstorm some questions. 🙂

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