Always: a letter to my mum
You always told me to reach for the stars. Well, I took my own winding road but I always knew to follow your lead. You always pushed us to our limits. When I was a child you threw me out of the car miles from our house and urged me to find my own way home. You let me jump into a river to sink or swim. You and Dad taught me and my sisters independence and loved us with fierceness and tenderness. You were always an adventurer. You took glider lessons dressed as a boy, enlisted during WWII, toured Germany as a ballet dancer after the war. You flew treacherous routes as intrepid cabin crew for start-up airlines. You took us into the great unknown on family holidays. You treated everyday as the chance to explore. Before the word existed, you were always an entrepreneur. You helped make ends meet by creating your own small businesses. You showed me how to grow a company; how to treat people; how to be creative; how to balance work and play; how to live.
You were always a romantic. You and Dad showed Joan and me the way to build a life filled with humour and heart; open humility; honesty and happiness. You showed us the value of kindness; the magic of laughter; the beauty of music; and the joy of family. You were always my guiding light at Virgin Galactic. You shared with me that the day we named our mothership VMS Eve was one of your happiest.
You always knew Eve would start my journey to space one day, just as I always knew you would do the impossible for me.Well Mum, I was a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I’ve seen the unimaginable wonder of space, carried by our mothership which carries your name, and will carry the next generation of dreamers into space.
You were always a dreamer. You urged me to strive for every opportunity I saw. You told me to chase my wildest fantasies to live life to the full. Well, the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. How you lived, how you loved, and how you are missed.
Dad always said, “Isn’t life wonderful?” and you both showed us that it was.