The McQuilkin’s Story (Nicole & Lycia)

Nicole recounts her time with Lycia at her most recent flight:

I remember the night we took our flight so vividly, what a beautiful evening. As we pulled into the parking lot, a man kindly directed us when we pulled up. Together, my daughter and I found the right door, going into the right building. Our communication was something we had been working on for a while. I needed to learn to not lash out or talk to her like a child. At times when I did, she would just freeze up and I didn’t want to make my daughter feel that way. The stress on our relationship was turning into a struggle for the both of us. In that moment though, we had to work together, we had to put our differences aside and be in that present moment communicating together.

When Lycia’s father passed away, the grieving process added stress to our relationship. It seemed like she was dealing with her grief by trying to attract attention from boys and men. The clothing she wore was tight and revealing, with her makeup and hair always done. As a mother, this was hard for me to see and I wanted her to be at peace with her grief in a healthier way.

I placed the ‘Confidence by Accomplishment’ poster we received from Flight1 in the dining room. It really impacted my and her idea of self-esteem. Actually, feeling good about doing things and not about how one looks.” 

Now she spends less time finding the perfect outfit, hair, or makeup. Her ability to communicate maturely has grown and she is focusing on herself more. As a result, our relationship has flourished and our bond has grown stronger. Without our Flight1 experience, I am not sure where our relationship would be. When we were at our flight, everyone from Flight1 treated each other—and us—with such respect. We could really feel their love, something that has taught both of us the importance of setting boundaries and creating safe relationships to help us feel more comfortable to be ourselves. 

Lycia has even taken an interest in being a pilot one day. Before Flight1, that was something I never would have imagined my daughter saying. She had never really shown interest in aviation, but Flight1 changed that. Seeing the excitement and interest she takes in it now makes me smile. 

I’ve never had such a beautiful, fun, proud night with my daughter as I did during the flight. Every day, I go back to the video and photos. The memories from that night together give me hope. All I can say is, what an amazing life changing experience.”