A night of pride -
Ya'll know how much I love Atlantis, right? She's my favorite orbiter, and when I heard we were getting Atlantis at KSC when she retires, I screamed and tears stood in my eyes.
I was SO HAPPEH. Over the moon. Past the Hubble Bubble and back 3 times.
Well tonight just was icing on the cake. God gave such a gracious gift, unexpected, out of the blue....my dad put in for a pass to watch Atlantis rollout to the pad from the VAB, and well, he got one. That alone is God's grace ... and then we were able to take 7 people, and so the FOSTERS went with us. Momma, Becs, and Cameron.
It.was.amazing. I can't even describe it. A once in my lifetime gift from God. The last space shuttle, moving to the place where she'll lift off for the last time. Wow. I was blown away. :)
"Give me the beat, boys and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock 'n roll, and drift away!"
Ray Charles singing "America" while watching Atlantis roll out was just .... surreal. It was one of those moments you try to capture as much as you can of, because you know you'll treasure it forever. :) Wow. "America, America! God shed His grace on Thee!"
"Oooo, ONLY IN AMERICA!! Dreaming in Red, White, and Blue! Only in America!"
Patriotic and Country music was playing in the background, God blessed us with the most gorgeous breezy, relaxing, lovely weather, a place for our chairs and just an amazing amazing view....from the spotlights to seeing the driver of the crawler waving at us, watching the Gulfstream roar in and land time after time because the astronauts were practicing for Atlantis....knowing Endeavour would be home in 5 hours....clapping and cheering with the crowd when the spotlights lit up Atlantis for the first time as it moved out of the VAB .... the wind in my face, the joy in my heart ... the thankfulness for the moment, the treasuring of the memories....the culmination of hard work and my childhood love of watching shuttles.
What a wonderful wonderful few hours!! Pictures upon pictures, singing of Pride, Country, Glory, Sacrifice, America, Bravery, and just good ole country pride too. Pride in my Daddy, and in Becca's Daddy, and all my friend's daddies. I'll treasure tonight for the rest of my life!
It's something few people in the world get to see, and I think I am just so so blessed. :)
Today was a hard day, a tear filled day, and this was just such a deep treasure and gift from God! I'm so thankful that He gave it to our family ... and to the Fosters too. :)
Don't worry, there'll be more pictures. :) and a slideshow, and maybe a vlog too. :)
Much much love from this glowing Nasa heart,
~ Jean Marie ~
**Update: June 1, 2011 2:38AM. I just was rattled from silent anticipation to glorious reminder, hearing the sonic booms from returning Endeavour, then watched her soar along on NASA Tv, on her final flight, to touchdown and stop. Welcome home, STS-134 crew! We are so so proud of you, and great landing, Cmdr. Kelly!
"It's sad to see her land for the last time, but she really has a great legacy.", Commander Mark Kelly radioed after Endeavour touched down at Kennedy Space Center. (link to landing blog)
The legacy stands for Endeavour in the hearts of those who have worked on her, built her, seen her fly, love her and her crews! Welcome Home, Endeavour!!!"**