Mom, what do you think about me taking Dad skydiving when he comes down for my Winging ceremony? Do you think he’ll be able to do the landing then?” My son asked me over the phone.
“I’m not sure Jesse. He’s still pretty sore, but we still have a month yet. Maybe by then his back will be able to take it OK,” I said optimistically.
Jesse wanted to share with his dad an experience they both had done, but never together. It would be a perfect way to celebrate the weekend of our son receiving his pilot wings in the United States Air Force, to skydive with his dad. But, the obstacle preventing it was a broken back his dad had suffered 2 months earlier in an ATV accident. The four-wheeler he was ...view middle of the document...
All severed through the heart by death.
The summer after Jesse’s death left us heartbroken. How do you do celebrations after the loss of a child? Celebrations mean joy, happiness, and thanksgiving. All those had been stripped from our vocabulary; emptiness was taking center stage in our life. The emptiness would be magnified with the onset of Scott and Jesse’s birthdays, as they were only four days apart. Jesse’s birthday was August thirty first and Scott’s September fourth.
What would be a better gift for Scott’s birthday than to give him the gift Jesse wanted to give his dad? Skydiving! My heart skipped a beat when the thought came to me. The feelings of emptiness soon gave way to excitement. Krystine, Jesse’s sister, and I thought we would start the gift the same way Jesse did, as a surprise. We weren’t going to tell Scott about the skydiving till right before his birthday.
This was a great idea! Krystine and I could hardly keep it to ourselves. And we didn’t, because we told everybody, except Scott. It felt like we were re-gifting all the love Jesse had poured into the original surprise. To keep the surprise from catching up to Scott, Krystine and I decided it was time to tell him of the great birthday gift two weeks before Jesse’s birthday. But, we were the ones surprised when he gave us the same answer he did Jesse.
“I can’t do it,” the emptiness in Scott’s face needed no explanation.
The birthday skydiving surprise couldn’t give back the wish-filled day with Jesse. Scott’s feelings of hollowness at the thought of climbing into that skydiving plane alone; no Jesse, no memories, no pictures, and no laughter.
“You and Krystine should skydive instead,” Scott added.
The thought of skydiving had never crossed my mind before. But, what a great inspiration Scott gave to Krystine and I. Many people have commented on the fear of death from jumping out of a “perfectly good airplane”. Death has never occurred to me when I know I have a flock of Angels, one of particular importance, flying with me.
Why would you have a fear of skydiving when you have an Angel that has been waiting to go skydiving with you for months? His...