After 16 months of almost constant training, Michael finished, and he finished well.
That weekend was one of my favorite weekends of my life, minus not being with my side of the family. We were with Michael's parents and really just basked in the feeling of accomplishment- I guess the best reward for all of our hard work. I say our because although Michael was the only one who actually participated in and graduated from Pilot Training, I was the one in the background praying for him, making him meals, keeping his home clean, waiting for him to come home safely, and working hard to raise our daughter whenever he wasn't there to help. Neither of us was perfect through the whole process, sometimes we didn't appreciate each other like we should have or realized what the other was sacrificing for the family as a whole, but we stuck together enough to see it to the end and are feeling very grateful now.
I went through a strong bout of depression midway through his training from late February to early September which was obviously hard for me and- just as worth mentioning- difficult for Michael. When I say depression I mean that I had depressive "episodes" a good 1-3 times a month for those 6 months. I'd love to explain more another post but lets just say that they're not easy to experience and they certainly aren't easy to watch and try and handle for Michael and anyone trying to help. The times I was depressed I was very likely to NOT see the good in those closest to me (Michael) and recognize all the positive things they're doing. Also, on the flip-side, Michael was so busy and consumed by training that he wasn't able to care for me like I hoped. Thankfully I have many family members that were there for me on the phone and in prayer. Eventually I sought professional help (again) and have benefited immensely from that treatment.
Honestly, I think we both did our very best considering our individual situations. I am so grateful we never give up on each other. There are some habits we formed from the beginning of our marriage that have most likely been that saving glue to keep us from tearing apart even when things are so difficult. In no way are we remotely close to being super righteous people BUT we try to do certain things to help us stay on a good path.
Those things are: We pray morning and night, usually on our knees, together, and out loud. We pray for each other, our daughter and other family and that we'll be guided by God's Spirit to do what's right. We read divinely inspired words daily together from the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants or modern day General Conference Addresses. We hold (almost) weekly Family Home Evenings where we spend time, sometimes only minutes, talking about a principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it applies to our lives and then commit to living cleaner, more selfless lives in the coming week. We go to Church and partake of the Sacrament to be forgiven for mistakes and promise to live more according to the promises we made when we were baptized. We accept callings (responsibilities) at church and serve the best we can believing that our Father in Heaven literally called us to that position and wants us to serve His children in that congregation in that capacity.
In addition to these habits, just as or even more important are the guiding principles of love, faith and forgiveness which Jesus Christ exemplified that we try our darnedest to emulate ourselves.
Also, let me clarify that we don't believe we'll be saved because of all the good things we do but that we show our faith in and love for Jesus Christ by following Him and that includes doing a lot of good things.
Back to flight school.
He finished, and he finished well. Meaning... he was top of his class and top of many classes that came before him. I was so happy for him and proud to be his wife. Here are pictures of the graduation ceremony that he conducted. The picture of me standing in front of him is when I put his "wings" on.