Happy Friday everyone! I love getting to know different pilot wives, don’t you? So I’ve decided to do a weekly post featuring some of my readers. How fun! Every Friday I will feature a different pilot wife and tell her story.
This week’s featured wife is Jessie S., who I recently got to know through Facebook. Interestingly enough, we found out we both worked for the same airline at the same time and in the same base! How we ended up not meeting each other back in the day is a mystery, haha.
Read below to see find out more about her, including how she kicked cancer’s ass like a boss.
Name: Jessie S.
Lives in: Highlands Ranch, CO
Based in: DEN
What she does for a living: She used to do (and would still like to get back into doing) public and community relations for professional hockey teams. Currently she is an event coordinator and manager of a custom bath, body, and home care store called Scented Studio.
How long she’s been with her pilot: 8 years.
Kids: 4 fur babies: Duke (Great Dane), Bugsy (Boston Terrier), Zoe (Siamese), and Mr. Meowington (regular short hair gray cat).
How they met:
“Let me start a little further back… I am from Duluth, Minnesota originally. I got my undergraduate degree from a college in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (outside Boston) and have lived in Houston.
Needless to say, I have a lot of friends and family all over the place. While I was getting my masters degree from Arizona State University, I was missing my family and friends and decided to see about working for an airline (part-time) so I could travel in my spare time. After applying a few different places for a few different types of jobs, I ended up accepting an offer with a regional airline…as a ramp agent in Phoenix. It was fun, challenging, a great workout, and probably the oddest choice of job I could ever have chosen. I should also mention, working on the ramp in Arizona during the summer is NO JOKE! Haha. While I was working there I got to know (and become friends with) a lot of the flight crew. I ended up becoming really good friends with a pilot (Nick) who was based in Phoenix, but was from Santa Barbara. After awhile, Nick started going on and on about this friend of his that he’d known from his days at Embry Riddle. He kept saying how he thought we would be perfect together.
I just thought he was crazy. I never, ever saw myself dating a pilot… but Nick was persistent that we should meet. I didn’t think anything would really come out of meeting him (James) since I was in Phoenix and he was in Houston… but after talking to him, and hearing his adorable British accent, I decided to give him a shot.
On a whim I flew out to Houston (a place I swore I would never go back to after I left it) to have a coffee date. I was there a total of 3 hours before I had to get back on the flight home. We have been inseparable ever since. By far the best decision I ever made was to get on that airplane to go see him for coffee.”
What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced with the aviation lifestyle?
“Two weeks after we moved to Denver, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Having to deal with all the pitfalls that come with a deadly disease was bad enough…having to deal with pitfalls and a boyfriend who was gone working 4 to 5 days a week, while living in a city where I literally knew nobody was absolute hell. He tried so hard to be with me on days when I was going to chemo, but trying to bid around those days was a nightmare. He told his company why he needed those days off, and they didn’t care because we weren’t married. They never gave him the days he requested off, and even gave people who had less seniority days off he asked for. He had to try to switch days with other people, offer money for people to take his trips, parts of his trips, anything. Crew tracking shut him down and put up so many road blocks. He ended up calling off a few times, and I ended up driving myself to chemo a bunch. It was awful, but failure wasn’t an option. Having persevered, I feel like I can accomplish anything.”
What is your favorite thing about being a pilot’s wife?
“Ever since I was young, I have been excited to see new places and experience new things. Having the ability to see the world has been nothing short of amazing. I am just excited to travel now as I was when I was young, and still think it’s so cool that we are able to get up and go at a moment’s notice. We decided at 7:30 am one morning to go First Class on the Dreamliner to Tokyo. Another time I went to Maui for 8 hours just because I could. Who does that?? I feel so ridiculously blessed to have ended up with someone who shares my love of travel and curiosity of the world.”
What is your best advice for coping with having a husband who travels for a living?
“This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and it tests you in ways you never thought possible. Trust is paramount. Without it, you have nothing. Keep reminding yourself that you can do it. You are so much stronger than you ever thought you were. Enjoy the days you have together, and just have fun. Don’t worry about the impending day he leaves. Date nights, don’t forget to do date nights!!! Always keep a bottle (or 3) of your favorite wine on hand for THOSE days.” 🙂
What is the craziest thing that has happened while your husband was on a trip?
“Nothing too crazy has happened yet (fingers crossed)… So either I handle stress really well, or I’m about due….”
I love hearing other pilot wife stories! Thank you so much for sharing your story Jessie, it’s awesome hearing from other pilot wives and getting to know them.
Want your story featured on The Flight Wife blog? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be picked next!
Have a fantastic week!
The Flight Wife