August 27, 2010

Trixie Ann Schubert

Posted in Inspiring Stories tagged at 10:56 pm by tiffanyannbrown

In 1965 my grandmother, Trixie Ann Schubert, died in a plane crash. She was accompanied by Joan Merriam Smith, the first woman to fly the equatorial (Amelia Earhart) route around the world, and had been planning to write her life story when their 182 Cessna suddenly malfunctioned over the little mountain town of Wrightwood, CA. Though I never met Trixie, I feel like I’ve known her my entire life thanks to journals, lectures on tape, family photos, news stories, and memories that have been passed down along the way. I came across this quote recently about grandparents, which I thought was really neat:

The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children’s children.  It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone.  It is in us that their history becomes a future.

The year before she passed away, she wrote an inspiring letter to her three children that eerily foreshadowed her death. Some of the reasons she was so inspiring include the fact that she was a foreign news correspondent, aviatrix, author, lecturer, and mother of three, but more importantly, that she set time aside for the more important things in life. Click here to view her biography.

Without further ado, below is a copy of the letter she wrote to her children, just brimming with purpose, love, and intention:

Dear Monkeys Three – Patrice, Heidi, Norman:  I write this merely to emphasize what you already know – that every breath I breathe is with love for you three and with gratitude to God for having so blessed me with you.

I write, anticipating no problems on the solo flight I’m about to fly, but because I’m somewhat of a fatalist (that all happens by His permissive or positive will and that it is sufficient in life to fulfill our mission here on earth with the living prayer, “Let me be an instrument of Thy will” and nothing else matters) and consider all possible contingencies as my Cub Scout (Norman) knows, wisdom lies in being prepared in all things as much as possible.

This flight is a challenge, one with which I feel capable of coping, or I would not make it.  There is a selfish motive, too.  I want to make you as proud of me as I am of you (and this is not a false pride).  Our love must be bound by purpose, initiative, fulfillment, accomplishment and you three are well launched on that track; we are not born in the image and likeness of God to vegetate.

You have nothing in life to fear, NOTHING, while you adhere to the magnificent faith bestowed on you in Baptism.  Don’t frustrate life by trying to understand all that you KNOW by feeling and experiencing.  The mystery of faith implies that we accept some belief on faith alone; as we accept so many mundane matters because they “work” as we expect them to, even though we don’t understand how (you know – electricity, growing grass, birth, love, – yes, and pain and sorrow).

Temper the truths you hold in faith with tolerance for the beliefs of others, with integrity (don’t imitate; be yourselves above all else and only then do you radiate charm, assurance, warmth, confidence).

As a child when my Mother died, I felt life was over and it wasn’t, though it was at the same time diminished and augmented.  I felt it again when Daddy died when I was not yet adult and had hopes of his being with us as a family again.  And when Nannie died I wanted my world to end, never dreaming that she would come back to me in you three and that she never really left me.  “I will be near, helping and praying for you whenever you need me” she promised, and she’s there – helping, waiting.

Love binds – eternally, you shall discover if you haven’t already.  Obey Daddy and be as tolerant of his few foibles as he always has been of me.  He is an exceptionally wonderful man, as if you didn’t know.  My love grows for him – always a good test of marriage.  That’s enough now of maternal commandments; no one yet has improved on the original ten anyway.

With you, and loving you – ALWAYS.


On a closing note, you can click here for a link to the 1965 Ogden, UT newspaper story documenting the plane crash.


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