It’s 2 am on Sunday morning.
As I write this post I’m sat in the dark halfway of my daughter’s primary school, everyone else asleep and I have tears flowing down my cheeks. You see, I have experienced what the kindness of people can do:
This morning we set off from home, packed children in the car, depositing 2 out 3 with friends, who, after a phone call late last night, were happy to take them to do their Saturday thing- Dutch School-, while we had some, rather important business to attend to.
Dadonthebrink, Hannah and I headed off to a small airfield on the Oxfordshire- Northamptonshire border.
I was disappointed in myself for not reaching my target, Dadonthebrink was excited at the prospect of meeting some of the people I’d been talking about for weeks, in some cases months, and joining them on an honourary challenge and Hannah was being her lovely supportive self.
We met up with the other Team Matilda Mae skydive members and ground support at the airfield. There were hugs, nerves, serious nerves and tears too.
Even with all the excitement and the camaraderie, the dark reality of why we were there stabbed and caught us off guard every now and then:
Borrowing some sharp scissors, I explained to the rigging crew (the peeps who make sure the parachutes are in top condition and bring skydivers down safely) that a member of our team was letting us cut hack her beautiful long blond- coloured pink for the occassion- hair off there and then.
To their horrified “Why?”, I went on to tell the story that 9 of our team were jumping, despite phobias, because we wanted to help create a lasting memory, a far reaching, irrevocable legacy for a 9 month baby girl, Matilda Mae, taken oh so soon and suddenly by this evil unknown, Sudden Infant Death. I cried, their eyes glistened.
I went outside and saw my cheeky 13 month old Max toddle around.
I so wished this scene was playing out in an alternative reality, where we had Matilda Mae toddling along side him, her mummy and daddy laughing with glee, instead of shouldering a burden no parent should!
This amazing team of 9 skydivers and numerous ground support from all around the country came together because every one was touched and affected by Matilda Mae.
Alas it’s not to be. Instead the Team Matilda Mae skydivers let themselves be pushed out of that aeroplane; despite pleading with their instructor “I can’t do it!”
They did it!
They took to the sky and landed back on Earth safely having got just a bit closer to Heaven.
…for different personal reasons, but for one united goal- to support The Lullaby Trust in memory of Matilda Mae.
The skydive, even for the reluctant groundcrew like me, was amazing! We watched in awe as Team Matilda Mae descended.
At the end we celebrated the achievement, collected the certificates and dispersed far and wide back to our loved ones. It was over!
Dadonthebrink and I collected Angelina and Hugo, had a quick pitstop at home to load the car full of gear and headed off to our children’s primary school for the annual BBQ and camping night.
A very different, but very valuable experience for our children and our school community.
We chatted well into the night with fellow parents, solved the world’s problems and created a better world. We spoke briefly of our day and the support, of Twitter. Slowly children drifted off to sleep and we, parents, gradually joined them.
… then I made the “mistake” of going online. I saw how our Skydive Team Matilda Mae justgiving total had shot over £6000, my own justgiving page shot upto 12% of my ambitious target, and read a couple of the wonderfully supportive comments to me feeling how I’d failed before my phone battery died.
I was quietly sobbing in our tent. I didn’t want to wake anyone so I snuck into the dark deserted school to write this on my tablet:
I am truly humbled by this support!
Thank you to Everyone for all the loving support!
My eternal gratitude especially goes out to my lovely husband!
I am so proud of you Dadonthebrink!
You joined last minute, you stepped in, when I couldn’t do what I’d set my heart on.
You stepped in to make up the team of 9;
You also stepped up when other hands were too shaky to blow bubbles high up in the sky.
You blew bubbles in the plane, at the highest point,
then bubbles as you descended…bubble kisses to a baby girl in the sky,
in the name of everyone who has supported Team Matilda Mae through donations, spreading the word, telling her story, making her legacy reach further.
And another special message:
Beautiful Angel, Matilda Mae,
We may not have known you
or held you darling Matilda Mae,
but for what you have given,
the ripples of love, caring and sharing
you have created sweet baby girl
we Love You and
will cherish your memory
in a special nook in our hearts forever!
Watch over this world,
keep inspiring us and, most importantly,
give your loved ones a sign
every once in a while that
you are never far away!
More pictures to follow of this very special day… in the meantime do read how the rest of the Skydive Team Matilda Mae expereinced the day.