Stories from my little corner of the world, the South. Some are from the present, some from the past...but all are from my heart.

They reflect my thoughts and views, my musing about the world, and each carries with it a bit of my heart
and soul.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Houston, We Have a Problem"

~April 13th, 1970~

The number was 13
dreaded, feared~
drenched in superstition
and on this day
it stayed true to
its unsavory character.

A voyage to the moon
headed for the Fra Mauro highlands
was interrupted
by an explosion~
the grand plans 
of lunar exploration 
morphed into a looming tragedy.

Down here we watched,
hearts in our throats,
as this tiny tin can 
hurtled through space
on a wing and a prayer
200,000 mile from Earth.

Three astronauts
Lovelle, Swigert and Haise
manned the "successful failure"
with no power, little water
or oxygen...
for four agonizing days.

A sling-shot maneuver
hurled the capsule to
the dark side of the moon
while we hoped and prayed
fear clutching our hearts
at what might happen.

But then, a miracle
a free return trajectory
boomeranging them back to Earth
to bathe in the Pacific
and finally,
to touch terra firma.

Being home never felt so good.

Rose S. Williams


  1. There's no place like home. But isn't it wonderful to stare into the sky and feel like a speck in the eternal of it all and yet grateful to be that speck?


  2. I, too, remember the Apollo 13 mission well, Rose... I remember that nearly every country in the world sent their prayers and hopes for our astronauts' safe return -- countries, some with which we had very poor diplomatic ties. It was as if the entire planet Earth held its collective breath waiting for that "toaster being driven through a carwash" to thread the eye of a needle so narrow that even a tiny miscalculation on their parts would have sent it hurtling out into the void of space like some errant skipping-stone across a pond -- never to be retrieved. Tom Hanks' performance as Jim Lovell in the movie, too, IMHO, is the crown-jewel of his acting career -- and not for the more dramatic scenes in the script but for those little, genuine moments such as his reaction when his wife, Marilyn Lovell (Kathleen Quinlan), shows up the evening before the launch after telling him she would not and the mocked-up "old news footage" of him explaining how, during a combat mission, he was lost over the South China Sea with instruments not functioning and caught sight of the phosphorescent plankton being churned in the wake of the aircraft carrier. "You can never tell what events are to transpire that can get you home..."

    1. Thanks so much Jean...for reading and your wonderful comment, I agree the movie was done so well and Hanks gave a stellar performance!!