One year has passed.
365 days without him. Without his words, his wisdom, his humor.
Capt. Carroll “Lex” Lefon. Died in service to his country one year ago today. He died doing what he loved, what his soul was called to do.
Fly. Fast. Really fast.
It was with such joy that he began his 1st career again after trying a 2nd career as a desk jockey.
That did not sit well with Lex, nosiree.
Qualifying the kFIR he would fly adversary for the TOPGUN aviators. The stuff that legends are made of.
Except that Lex was already a legend. To those of us who read his blog faithfully – his writing was the stuff of genius. How many times did someone say “write the damn book”…
Write one he did. Rhythms will someday be published; and a community left bereft at his passing will likely gather as we always promised we would – someplace “in the middle” so that we could all get a first edition and have it signed by the author whilst plying him with Guinness.
Lots of Guinness.
It is so tragic that a man like Lex – who lived 10 lifetimes in one short one – still had so much living to do. But then again, adrenaline-junkie that he was, whose to say that he didn’t live all that he was supposed to. He lived life on the tip of the spear – from fast jets to fast cars to fast motorcycles.
And while I feel the sorrow of his loss keenly, my thoughts turn to his beloved family and I realize that my grief can only pale to insignificance in the face of theirs.
I lost a good friend – no – I lost the brother of my heart one year ago today. The world changed once when I met Lex and I became a better person for it. The world changed again when he died – and I like to think that I remain that better person.
Lex showed us all how to live a life made of dreams. Lex showed us how to live a life of integrity, principles, honor and valor.
He was courageous to the end – landing a stricken jet with no fuel on board in deadly cross winds. It is a testament to his skill as a pilot and his determination as a human being that he got that kFIR on the ground at all.
Lex had grit – true grit. He served his country with dignity, he loved his family with passion and he shared so much of himself that I often wondered if he’d break from all the stretching.
When I woke up today – I felt a terrible weight pressing down on me. In those few precious moments after I opened my eyes, the world was as it should be. Then my mind engaged and I realized – no, it’s not. It all became clear and I knew why that weight was there.
And as the day has gone by – as I have read tributes from others – I feel that weight lifting. Yes, Lex lived a life of possibilities. And it is those possiblities that we should celebrate – both in his life and to welcome them into ours.
So it will be tonite that I will turn to a private memorial page on Facebook and celebrate the life of this extraordinary man. We miss him terribly and yet he left us a powerful legacy of focus and dedication to ones dreams.
Lex – you are with the angels, I’m sure of it – showing them how flying is really done.