February 12, 2020

“Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
I am haunted by waters.”

-Norman McClean

A new decade. A new set of numbers to mark this day.

57 years since that February 12. Remembering my Dad with much love this day. He would have so loved to meet another great-grandchild who arrived this past year. She graces our lives and one day will learn this story.

Creating an open space in heart and mind for my 92-year-old mother, and my six siblings who remember this day vividly. And an open space for all those in the 705 community who do as well.  Peace to you all.


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15 Responses to February 12, 2020

  1. Marcia Feinstein-Tobey says:

    Our mother, Judith, daughter of Ethel and Max Kelinson, passed and joined her parents on the other side this past December. I trust that she has now been reunited with them and her brother and they are again one. With loving memories of all.

    • T.L. Heil says:

      Dear Marcia, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you are doing okay.

      Thanks for letting us know about Judith. I hope she found some comfort in knowing that her parents, Ethel and Max, are not forgotten and that their memory, and hers, lives on. All the best to you, and a big hug, Theresa

  2. Janice Gould says:

    remembering my precious Mom, Sally Smigiel on this 57th anniversary of the most horrible tragedy imagineable…peace to you all on this day of rememberance and love…

    • T.L. Heil says:

      Thank you Janice. The very same back to you.

      • Janice Gould says:

        I find it amazing that if someone were to ask me what did u do two days ago, I probably wouldnt be able to recall, but I remember every minute of the 12th of February, 1963…

      • T.L. Heil says:

        Janice, how old were you when the accident happened? I was six. While I remember somethings very vividly, there are big holes. I have wondered why there are those gaps in my recollections. Maybe it was the age.

      • Janice Gould says:

        I had just turned 16 — so there is 10 yrs difference between us, and that 10 yrs probably made it easier for me to recall than you might have at such a young age…I would love to hear from people that were young when they lost someone on 705 and how it changed the course of their life – I know that it changed the course of my life and not for the better…..

      • T.L. Heil says:

        Janice, for decades I have wondered that as well. “How did the crash affect other families? How did other kids feel?” It’s actually one of the things that pushed me to create the website. Like you, it changed the course of my siblings’ lives. Profoundly.

      • Janice Gould says:

        I cant begin to tell you how grateful to you I am that this website is in existence – I would love to talk more with you about the effects this tragedy had on the direction of our lives, but would prefer to send it privately rather than go into detail on the site,…

      • T.L. Heil says:

        I agree. I was going to suggest that. I just sent an email to you that was one current a few years ago. If you don’t get it please let me know. Theresa

  3. Greg Terp says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they hit home with me in a special way. As time passes we move on but on this day it a step back in time remembering my grand parents and how much they loved us. I agree our 705 loved ones would have enjoyed seeing our children and their children.

    Thoughts and prayers to all on this special day of remembrance!

  4. Kathy Feller Summers says:

    Theresa,Thank you for the remembrance. We all remember our loved ones and the years we didn’t have them present in our lives but it’s comforting to hear from others. My Dad was an amazing man whom my brother and I miss every day
    Kathy Feller Summers

    • T.L. Heil says:

      Hi Kathy, nice to hear from you again. Today on this day we all join to remember. I’m glad you and your brother have shared memories that bring you comfort. Take care, Theresa

  5. T.L. Heil says:

    A note: Theresa is re-posting this February 11, 2020 comment from Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow. Elynne posted her comment on the “Media and Documents” page and I’m moving it here with the other 2020 comments on February 12.

    From Elynne:
    I am the eldest grandchild of my Grandma Lebedow. She is one of the great loves of my life. She died in the commercial plane crash on February 12th, 1963 that joins us all. Yet, I can touch that moment like it was yesterday. My Grandma gave me unconditional love. She was a stunning and handsome woman. She was soft and safe. She was love itself. She was ripped from my life. I wrote about her in one of my memoirs. She and I are on the cover of an anthology. Her story is also in my book My Gift of Now. Her legacy lives on through her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. And her beauty lives on through my words of her life. My Grandma. You will always be one of the greatest gifts of my life. Eleven years later, we lost my father and 16 year old sister in another plane crash. What are the odds in one family?

    Her First Grandchild
    By Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow

    She is one of the great loves of my life. I lost her in a plane crash February 12th, 1963. The memory of my maternal grandmother Fannie Lebedow inspires me every day of my life.
    I was my grandma’s first grandchild. The bond between us was magical. One of my greatest treats as a little girl was sleeping over at her apartment. The room I slept in had twin beds. They were very high and fluffy. I always needed help getting in at night.
    One morning my grandma came in to check on me and I was not in bed. The window next to the bed was half way open. Her apartment was on the third floor. She panicked thinking that I might have fallen out the window until she realized that I fell out of bed and in my sleep rolled under the bed. Years later we always shared a good laugh about that morning’s discovery.
    My grandmother was a tall woman with striking silver hair. She was handsome and stately in her carriage with a soft smooth skin that always smelled like fresh Palmolive soap. People would turn their heads toward her when she entered a room.
    She was my grandma, a woman whose love for me was unconditional and giving. Loving her was natural and easy because she loved me back with such genuine joy and caring. It always felt good to be around her. I looked forward to seeing her, touching her and smelling her scent. With her I shared many of the happiest moments of my childhood.
    One of the greatest legacies my grandmother left me was showing me how to love. She passed this natural gift on to my mother as well.
    One of my treasures is a picture I have of grandma in her housedress. My mother tells me that she remembers her mother always stunningly dressed. That is not the childhood memory of her that I cherish, however. In her housedress she would take me grocery shopping and would tell me to pick out any candy I wanted. I always got the pretzel stick. I would hold her hand as we walked doing errands, returning home in time for the delicious lunch she would prepare for me. Her kitchen pantry filled with desserts was like Disneyland to me.
    As I grew older, my grandmother became a friend with whom I could share my feelings. One day my mother and I had the worst argument we had ever had. I was twelve years old. I packed my belongings, willed my precious board games to my sister Linda and ran away from home. Of course the place I ran to was my grandmother’s new apartment that was fortunately a few miles from my home.
    When I arrived, she fed me and waited until I was ready to talk. My grandmother never pressured me or forced me. Our relating was easy and empathic. Her legacy of listening without judging is one I have tried to implement in my relationships.
    A few years after losing my grandfather, my family convinced my grandmother to take a vacation in Florida. She was with my mother and youngest sister Ivy at the beginning of her holiday. Before they left for home, my mother found a small hotel for seniors and my grandmother stayed on for twelve more days.
    My beloved grandmother never made it home. The commercial plane she was on hit a squall during the first ten minutes it was in the air and crashed in the Florida Everglades. Everyone on board was killed. My grandmother was sixty-seven.
    I can touch the raw agony of that day when we found out that we lost her like it was yesterday. I was seventeen and about to graduate from high school and head to college in the fall.
    We were assured her death was quick but I will never really know if she had time to be afraid. That question tortures me when I allow myself to think about it.
    In losing Grandma Lebedow I lost one of the great loves and friends of my life. I hope she would be proud of the woman I have become. I smile at her picture every day. Frozen in time in her housedress, she smiles back at me.

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