Monday, August 16, 2010

Who was your friend when you were in space?

Cleaning out my inbox, I came across this email from Daddio. Experience a seasoned storyteller with a distinctive emailing style:

March 5, 2008
Yesterday, I went over to a school in a neighboring town, as they had Clay Anderson, the Astronaut from Ashland, Nebraska (who spent 5 months at the space station) at this school for the day. 
I was there for the 5:15 p.m. time they had for the public. At the Q&A session ... once some old guy asked the obligatory question about Space Ship bathrooms and there were questions about fuel, water, etc ... a little girl  maybe 5, 6, or 7 years old, sitting a couple rows ahead of me, raised her hand and asked in all seriousness:
" ...Who was your friend when you were in space?" 
Having shared life with 2 daughters, I recognized that this would be a question a little girl would ask ... and in all sincerity, this would be some thing a little girl would have recognized as an item of real concern, even miles above the earth...a question worthy of asking in front of a gym full of people. 
This guy was good. He responded:  "First off, I have to tell you that I got to email my wife every day and got to call a few times a week, and once a week we got a video visit.   My wife was my best friend on the space station."  
"...Then, the 2 guys from Russia and I were like the 3 musketeers."
That little girl's question gave that Astronaut hero a chance to show another side of him being a hero. 
That little girl's simple question let me nod in recognition of what all little girls hold as important in life.  
The others were worried about getting there and back and the danger of space walks, and this little girl was worried about the "danger" of Clayton Anderson not having a friend for the 5 months he was in space. 
As beautiful as any night time lift off. 

Dad Kevin Burnison