Two weeks ago tomorrow, Stephen and I were sleeping in the house I grew up in when I awoke to multiple messages (mostly from friends stationed or deployed across the globe) asking if Stephen was okay. “Yeah, he’s was sleeping right next to me, what’s up?” I quickly learned that there had been a fatal F-16 crash at our base in South Carolina and woke Stephen up immediately. Within 24 hours, we were told that one of the pilots in our own squadron was no longer with us here on Earth. Instead, he was rejoicing with Jesus in Heaven.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to know Dave “MEZr” Schmitz or his precious wife, Val, very well because of COVID but I know that our squadron is more than lucky to have them in the family. Dave was an exceptional human. Not only was he one of the best of the best Airman and pilots but it was so evident how he loved Val and his life with her so incredibly deeply.
I grieve for Val. I grieve for their dog, Toby. I grieve for his parents. I grieve for our friends that were flying with Dave that night especially and for all of the other pilots and members of the Gamblers. I grieve for the moment Val heard the doorbell ring. I grieve for the chaplain that had to give her the news and for the others present with him to offer her their support. I’m grieving for Dave’s best friends. The list goes on…
This one hit so close to home I can feel it in my bones. Up until this point, I’ve gotten sad about loss but I’ve never been impacted to this extent. None of this is about me but I share this because MEZr’s legacy has given me a whole new perspective on my own life. Chances are, you probably won’t be as impacted by just reading this post and learning about his tragic death but maybe you’ve experienced something similar in the past and remember the feeling. I don’t want to make you sad but in case you’ve fallen back into the day to day trap of life, here’s your reminder for the way it hit you at the time. “Life is short.” Dang right it is. Stories like this are the perfect reminder of that. Have you really lived every single day with that mentality? I can’t say I have.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane day to day, isn’t it? I go to sleep every night thanking God for xyz and overall, I’d consider myself to be very thankful for life in general but when it comes down to it, I’ve been doing a poor job at appreciating every moment for what it’s truly worth. It’s time to wake up. Go after that dream job (Dave’s dream was to fly the Viper), let all the bull honky (as my dad would say) go, seek out more reasons to laugh, love deeply, say yes to life-giving things and no to anything other than that, be a light – a fisher of men, give generously with your time and resources, live this one life with all you’ve got. Life is too short to do otherwise.
Thank you MEZr, for these reminders. I will not live in fear. Instead, I pray that I always live with this new perspective and encourage others to do the same. You can bet all of us Gamblers will throw one heck of a meat flag to celebrate together in Heaven some day.
Wednesday will be the 36 week mark for our Tot! We took these photos when we were home with our dear and oh so talented friend, Megan Lucks. I appreciated them then but I appreciate them even more now. Every day with you, Stephen, is such a gift. I’m so grateful to be your wife and to be growing our family together.
Recognize that big tree? This is also where we took our wedding photos with Megan. We’ll always cherish these! Just like we do with our wedding photos!
An update on our SC house… We are under contract! I hate to leave a cliff hanger but I’ll share more about this later! The baby and move are quickly approaching, that’s for sure.
I’ve been working on my other business over on @jordyjeanjoyls (goodness what a blessing that is to us!!!) on the day to day but now you know where my thoughts (and prayers) have really been lately. If you can, will you say a prayer for Val?
Thank you all for being here today. The time you spend on this little platform of mine is so appreciated. Let me know if you have any prayer requests or if you have any questions! Stay well, friends.