“Life is short, so enjoy it to the fullest.” – John Walters
We have all heard the saying that life is short. And it is. And I think you realize that more and more the older that you get. Because as we age we see more and more how delicate life is balanced.
We also understand the need to have fun. Truly all work and no play makes for a very tiring life. We need things to celebrate, to remind us that there is life past our own noses and jobs. There is life beyond our own little problems.
It was a right of passage in a way. It was also a way to honor my mother’s memory and her ever adventurous spirit. (https://adalamar.wordpress.com/a-walk-with-mom-series/) And it was an excuse to do something I had always wanted to do. So I did it, and my friend H did it with me. We went skydiving.
The day started with a quick stop for quick breakfast. We ended up being serenaded by two older gentlemen who were playing guitar and fiddle, singing old time blue grass music. What a wonderful way to start the adventure.
Next stop was the municipal airport where the adventure would take place. Two buildings – an airplane hanger and a small shed. And a tiny runway. H and I looked at each other and wondered if we were in the right place. We went in and sure enough, there was a buzz of activity and people getting ready to jump out of a plane. We signed in and signed the very long waiver, which was also being read on video, by a man who looked like he could have led the Branch Davidians – long beard, crazy wild eyes, a dark panel background and very bad lighting. H and I giggled as we settled in to wait for out turn.
There were four girls in our group and after we were all harnessed up, one of the girls, in her mid 20s, announced that the contraption which were were all in looked like a sex-swing, and even pointed out where the feet would go. Again we giggle, and wondered how she knew such things. She blushed after she realized she had made the announcement out loud, in her “outside” voice.
I had to take off my cross, and when I took it to the car I noticed the time on my cell phone – 12:16. Mom passed on 12:18. I smiled at the coinsedence. I then walked back to the area we were we were all waiting, and saw a wonderful, beautiful butterfly flutter across the airplane terminal and across the tarmac. And smiled again as I took it as a sign from my mother.
Next we met our jump masters and loaded up onto the the plane. My guy was called Dark Side. I took that as another good sign. The plane had two benches and we were crammed in, all of us excited and nervous. My friend and I exchanged several nervous glances as we went up 14,000 feet. It’s at this point where things take quite a commical turn. Anyone who knows me knows I wear hard contact lenses, and have had many adventures of loosing them in several strange and inteeresting ways. But this may beat all.
As Dark side adjusted on goggles, one of my contacts popped out as the goggles went tight around my head and eyes. We were about 20 seconds away from jumping, so there was no time to adjust. And as we stood at the endge of the plane, the wind of outside roaring in my ears, I figured the lens was gone and quickly realized excitement was turning into a fear. Holy crap, I was about to jump out of a plane at 14,000 feet.
And then we jumped. The roar of the wind was loud, and the experience took my breath away. Fear quickly turned to thrill as the adenaline rushed through my veins. It was amazing. The view was amazing. I took out the envelope that contained my mothers letter, said a prayer and let it go, for the Angels to deliver to her.
After an amazing free fall, Dark Side opened the parachute and we slowed down to a peaceful float. He took my goggles of and I enjoyed the view. And Then, then I felt something on my cheek. It was the lost contact lens, somehow sticking on my cheek through the jump, through the free fall and through the chute opening and goggles being taken off. I quickly got it off my cheek and placed it in my mouth – what else are you going to do with it at 5,000 feet? I just had to laugh dumbfounded at my luck.
We continued to float down, as he spun me around this way and that way until it was time to land. It was an incredible experience. It marked the end of mourning and the start of this new phase of life. Mom has been gone for 2 years and I have served the family well. I honored her, and did something fun and amazing for myself. Everything is lining up for moving forward. And it feels wonderful.
Life is short. Make it fun. Make it spectacular.