Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Sky is the Limit

(Springfield MO) I’m not sure if Lt. Col Pat and Dori Helms knew what they were getting into when they began having children in 1958. But I have a strong feeling they have been on quite a ride the last 50 years or so. I haven’t met the Lt. Col and his wife but I did meet their youngest daughter this weekend. And I can tell you that I am convinced that the Helms’ are amazing folks and amazing parents.

The Helms’ had four girls. If they all are like their youngest daughter Janet (I highly suspect they are), they actually had four very beautiful girls. Mark and Janet attended the same meeting I attended this weekend in Branson. And when someone told me that Janet had a famous sister, I just had to sit down and talk with this couple. And you know I always have my camera handy.

I have a feeling that Pat and Dori Helms are very proud of all their girls. This close knit family has done very well in life. Janet is a Physical Therapist, she has one sister who has a Masters Degree in Marketing, another sister who is a Q/A engineer and another sister who is, well ... an astronaut.

Janet’s oldest sister, by the way, is Susan. That is in THE Susan Helms… as in Brigadier General Susan Helms… as in NASA astronaut Susan Helms. The Susan Helms who was in the first group of females ever to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy. The Susan Helms who has been on four space shuttle missions and has logged 211 days in space. The Susan Helms who lived on the International Space Station for over five months. The Susan Helms who holds the record for the longest space walk in history.

I’m talking about THE Susan Helms.

Susan, the oldest of the Helms’ four girls, was rather shy growing up. Somewhere along the line she put her shyness aside and decided to go for it. I doubt the Helms’ were thinking when Susan went to her high school prom in Portland OR in the mid seventies that she was going to be an astronaut or a General in the Air Force for that matter. But as my dad used to say, with a little smarts and a lot of determination, a person can achieve more than they ever think possible.

And more than others think possible.

You know the saying ... The sky is the limit.

It sure was for Susan Helms. And it was for Pat and Dori Helms and Janet and the other two girls.

And it is for you and me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! How do you find these people?