Three days before Christmas 2011 and just two miles from the airport, Eileen Roberston Hamra’s husband, Brian, died alone, flying his own airplane. Overnight, Eileen lost the man she loved, and her three young children lost their father. Brian’s parents lost their son, his younger sister lost her big brother, and hundreds of people working across the globe in the tech and solar energy industries lost their mentor, their leader, their guide. Al Gore sent his condolences.
After holding bicoastal celebrations of Brian’s life, for weeks, months, a year, Eileen and her children wrapped themselves in his clothing, and cocooned. Each night, under the balmy black-blue skies of Southern California, they cried, hugged, and pressed forward in ways they knew Brian would have wanted them to. Through the rollercoaster ride of loss and mourning, they were buoyed by friends, teachers, strangers, angels, and of course, family.
Despite the dark sense of having been gutted, in fact because of the shadowy pangs of emptiness she experienced, Eileen learned new ways in which to shine a light and make her way toward feeling whole again. She transformed longing and loneliness into wisdom and wonder. She became more patient, compassionate, balanced, joyful, and loving than she had ever thought possible.
Time to Fly is the story of how one woman chose to view the tragedy of her husband’s death as an opportunity to strengthen the bond with her children, and to wake up to her life’s purpose. It is one woman’s high-flying and turbulent journey to taking full possession of her potential by breaking beyond what she thought she would, should, and could do.