Douglas H. Wheelock

@Astro_Wheels

Test Pilot; NASA Astronaut: STS-120 & ISS-25; Space Station Commander; Aspiring Poet; Inspired by quiet moments, kindness and the power of the spoken word.

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Are you the one? You never know when you’ll encounter an angel. I was at the Banana Creek viewing area to watch the launch last Friday, and was signing pictures and hats and shirts…and answering questions. A little boy stood patiently beside me, held my hand tightly for several minutes, and when it was his turn I knelt to talk with him. He only said a few words but for several minutes he felt my hair, and mapped the contours of my face with his little fingers. He looked at every detail of the patches on my flight suit, and drew the lines of each patch as if he were memorizing the design. Then he just gave me a hug and wouldn’t let go. One of those moments that blesses my life and touches my soul.

I found out yesterday that this little guy was sent to Florida through ‘Make-A-Wish’, a wonderful organization that makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. This little boy’s wish was to meet an Astronaut and watch a Space Shuttle launch. So...you just never know… 

Ever told your child, We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? 
Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die...Cause you never had time? 
You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. 
Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere...You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day, 
It is like an unopened gift...Thrown away. 
Life is not a race. Do take it slower…
Hear the music...Before the song is over.

Views 15,172

1109 days ago

Are you the one? You never know when you’ll encounter an angel. I was at the Banana Creek viewing area to watch the launch last Friday, and was signing pictures and hats and shirts…and answering questions. A little boy stood patiently beside me, held my hand tightly for several minutes, and when it was his turn I knelt to talk with him. He only said a few words but for several minutes he felt my hair, and mapped the contours of my face with his little fingers. He looked at every detail of the patches on my flight suit, and drew the lines of each patch as if he were memorizing the design. Then he just gave me a hug and wouldn’t let go. One of those moments that blesses my life and touches my soul.

I found out yesterday that this little guy was sent to Florida through ‘Make-A-Wish’, a wonderful organization that makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. This little boy’s wish was to meet an Astronaut and watch a Space Shuttle launch. So...you just never know…

Ever told your child, We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste, Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die...Cause you never had time?
You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere...You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift...Thrown away.
Life is not a race. Do take it slower…
Hear the music...Before the song is over.

62 Comments

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lindaleigh 999 days ago

This post is my favorite of all your posts. I believe that the photo, the Blessing for that little guys life, and your beautiful words of reflection truly sum up the man of God that you are. TY

lindaleigh 1029 days ago


No matter where you are or what you are doing, you represent something greater than yourself. 
 you are the Vessel and God's Light Shines Brightly from within you. TY

flynnTHEmartian 1037 days ago

Vis Viva..God bless you

lalabachtiar 1052 days ago

very touching moment..

Ham_OP_STN 1057 days ago

I meet you in Dayton and shook your hand, I knew than that you where one of a kind, God be with u.

themeowingfox 1059 days ago

This is a true blessing. You were an angel to that sweet little boy.

manniseh 1070 days ago

so touching, thanks.

lindaleigh 1075 days ago

I remember with you and what touched me most was your passion to encourage our kids dreams. You are a blessing on this amazing planet Sir. I salute you !!!

lindaleigh 1079 days ago

and he could not have met a nicer Astronaut tht day Col. Wheels, THX for blessing his life :)

klhappysurfer 1085 days ago

I had to reach for a Kleenex. Thank you for sharing this beautiful episode. Just 'followed' you.

Kikucchi 1104 days ago

thanks for sharing astro W! life is amazing\(^o^)/

gkasica 1105 days ago

Wow! That is some story. You sir have a great amount of "The Right Stuff"

Maudewannabe 1107 days ago

That little boy will carry that memory with him forever. I bet you will too. Thanks for sharing.

modern_dragon 1107 days ago

Such a touching story. Thank you for sharing.

sunnieM 1107 days ago

Life is not a race. Do take it slower…
Hear the music...Before the song is over. //Amen!

acwynn 1107 days ago

Thank you for sharing that moment, it was so gentle and sweet.

RareH_2_0 1107 days ago

"Hear the music...Before the song is over". I love that, thank you. :)

VAXHeadroom 1107 days ago

That you spent time and intimate contact with a little boy,not knowing who he was,shows your character:You are a true hero.

albakutschker 1107 days ago

Die kinder ven mas alla de lo que nosotros somos capaces, y nos hacen reflesionar de nuestras acciones,se aprende mucho de ellos, usted es un buen ejemplo, felicidades.

GarDogBlog 1108 days ago

Very touching. Thank you.