Helen Macumber, Special to KP News

I recently decided to literally jump into my 62nd birthday, feet first, in a big way — by following a longtime dream of skydiving. And what an experience it was: everything I thought it would be and more.

A big crowd came to see me off. My husband, Bill, my mom, sister, three children, granddaughters and my first great grandbaby, my best friends of 35 years with their families — and my precious day care families. We were told we were the largest group Blue Skies Skydiving has had for one jump. It would not have been the same without them, believe me.

It was so special to have my son, Steve, on my flight and see him bail out, then to have him there on the ground to greet me when I landed.

The jump was amazing! We jumped in tandem from 2 miles up. The force of the air when you bail out was really something — didn’t have to worry about your cheeks sagging any more. But the most incredible thing was the complete peace and quiet after our chute deployed. Rick, my jump partner, told me to take off my goggles and he proceeded to point out the islands, the mountains, cities and sights. It felt like we were standing still! It was breathtaking.

I guess we did stay up a little longer than the others, which gave the camera man time to land and be in position to film my landing. The peace stopped as we neared the drop zone, as I heard all the friends and family yelling and cheering. I felt like the astronaut Sally Ride as I walked off the field in our blue jumpsuits. Then down the hill came my daycare kids and grandkids running to greet me. Wow!

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. I plan on jumping next summer again, when my son Scott and grandson Kyle can jump too.

I can now say I was 2 miles closer to heaven! It was unbelievable. I’ve decided I’m going to be dyslexic from now on, and instead of being 62, I’ll be 26!

Helen Macumber lives in Horseshoe Lake Estates. She invites anyone interested to watch the DVD from her adventure to see what it was like—or anyone who’d like to join her next year—to call her at 858-3460.