Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A really wonderful Sunday

Christy, Cindy, me, Dave
Cindy had emailed me to see if I might be available to make a few jumps with her and her husband Dave, since she got recurrent after a winter and spring layoff from skydiving. Even if you have an "expert" license, if you go beyond six months without a skydive, you must follow the Drop Zone's requirements to be able to jump again. Cindy had to hire a coach and spend several hours going over things she needed to be reminded of before jumping, and then she went out of the airplane with him to show she still remembers how to skydive.

We made three jumps together, along with Christy, who joined us for two of the skydives. It was a really fun day, the weather was perfect, and my skydives were extremely enjoyable. My landings were perfect, just a nice easy step onto the ground, and I drove the 75 miles home with a smile on my face. I had to wear weights (they are strapped around my waist) so I could fall comfortably at the same rate as Cindy and Christy, who weigh more than I do. Although Dave does, too, he's got more surface area so I can fall relative to him without weights, but it's much easier to fall faster than it is to slow down if you are heavier. Just some little tricks you learn over the years.

I had been worried about my knee, but it was just fine, never even stressed a little bit on Sunday. Yesterday, Monday, I hopped out of bed and after accomplishing my morning routine, I power walked to the bus station to head to the coffee shop, join my friends, and get ready for my class at 9:00am at the Y. As I hopped onto the bus, however, and made my way to my usual seat, I hit my knee on the edge of the seat, hard. It hurt so bad I practically collapsed into the seat. You know how when you hit a funny bone on your elbow it does the same thing? Yeah, that's what it felt like.

During the ride to town, the pain diminished a little, and I took stock to see what kind of damage my knee had sustained. I could walk all right, and I went ahead and did my aerobics class. I had little pain... but when I tried to walk upstairs, I couldn't do it without holding onto the railing. I went home and iced it and took stock again this morning. It was possible for me to walk downstairs without holding on, but it's still sore going up stairs. It's better today, though, so I think I'll be all right for the hike on Thursday, which I really don't want to miss.

And then yesterday I learned about Robin Williams having committed suicide. It was devastating, as he is a wonderful, dear person who had won my heart in movie after movie. Anyone who has lost a friend or relative to suicide was impacted by this event. I broke into tears when I saw his star on Hollywood Boulevard completely swamped with flowers. Many of us loved him, and my heart goes out to his family, who will never be the same.

It makes me realize that I must again give thanks for today, for the life I have and the positive outlook I have on life. For those who struggle with depression all the time, it must sometimes seem impossible to go on, and the agony of living becomes too much. These days, we have organizations that can help, such as www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. I hope if anyone reading this either needs help or knows of someone who does, you will take action, in honor of Robin's memory. You never know when something you say or do might actually help another.


  1. Yes, yes...I'm still in shock. Mr. Williams always seemed to love life, his family and all around happy. It's a sad day still. I ache for his loved ones. Just hope now that he is resting comfortably without any more troubles in his heart and mind!!!

    Your skydiving sounds like a wonderful day...I didn't know about the weights and such. Learned something.

    And hope your knee will improve over time dear DJ

  2. so glad you had great jumps, but SO sorry you banged your knee on a simple dang bus ride! :) isn't that the way life is? :)

  3. I smile because I know that you had a lovely time Sunday as you parachuted with your friends. I'm so glad that your jumps went beautifully.
    Moral of the story: it is safer on the knees to jump out of an airplane than it is to board a bus.
    Love ya,

  4. Your posts exude positivity and I admire you greatly for the way you have managed to overcome tragedy and take joy from the world around you. It is sad when someone is unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel. Now he is at peace let us remember his talent for making us all laugh out loud. RIP RW

  5. Yay, I'm glad you had some good jumps.

    Yes, I've shed a tear or two over Robin Williams' death. He was a genius. And I always thought he had the kindest eyes. The world will miss him.

  6. Love that you had great jumps - hiss and spit on the knee front. Take it easy on Thursday. Please.
    Robin is still reaching out to people. Sad and bad as it is, his death is making people talk about this important and too often buried subject.
    My heart goes out to his family - and I hope he has found peace.

  7. glad the jumps went well..how funny that you had perfect landings after jumping out the plane and then hurt your knee on the buss...well maybe not funny...ugh...i hope it feels better....not much fun...i banged my knees up pretty good as a teen...so i get recurrent pain...

    i was so sad last night getting the text from a friend telling me about robin williams...i feel i grew up a bit to him...all the way from mork....

  8. D'Jan, thanks for your thoughts on Robin Williams. We also need to be conscious of the combination of his depression and his recent readmission to rehab for substance abuse. It is difficult for all of us to understand both depression and substance abuse diseases if we are fortunate to be healthy. Glad you enjoyed your jumps...won't find me among your jumpers! ;-)

  9. I saw your photo on Facebook and rejoiced for you on your super Sunday.
    There have been some interesting articles on Facebook about comedians and depression and suicide. So often being funny hides the hurt. Robin walked a fine line between brilliance and madness at times. Finally he reached a tipping point. We are all saddened by the pain he must have felt and by the loss of such a kind and talented man.

  10. I'm glad you were able to get your jumps in happily, but I winced when I read about your knee. Yiiiikes!

    I was really jolted to hear about Robin Williams. I loved him ever since I saw him on Mork and Mindy.

    You're right about reaching out to people who might need a little comfort.

    We went to get blood drawn today and was sitting next to a solitary man near Tripler Army hospital.

    I smiled and asked him how his pancake was. I'd noticed it was the red velvet pancake that I was curious about. He even offered to have me taste some.

    Turned out he was soldier whose wife had gotten a mastectomy and was having reconstruction surgery. He was worried of course and told us about his four little girls and the stresses he was having. It felt good to let him know we sympathized with him. These little bits of interactions in the day can mean so much to the people who are stressed and those who reach out.

    I wish Robin Williams could have found a way to battle back his depression. He gave all of us so much joy. I wish there was a way he could have gotten it back to help him.

  11. Kind of scary when small bumps can end up being very uncomfortable. Look after yourself and get better soon.

  12. A Bus Accident! Well kinda it happened in a bus...I hope your knee is all better soon.
    Good to hear you had a great couple of jumps before the accident!
    Hopefully Robin Williams Suicide will bring depression and suicide forefront in the news and his death will not have been for nothing. I always feel so sorry for the survivors..the victim is out of his misery but my goodness his wife and child/children? must be so very sad, they are forever changed.
    I read someplace today that he was an athiest...I hope and pray that was not true. If you don't have faith in God the world is not a very nice place to live..in my opinion:)

  13. After all that--banged your knee on a bus ride--LOL! Murphy's Law, I guess. I hope it will be feeling okay for your hike Thursday.

    So sad to hear about Robin Williams. Depression, hopelessness...something that is too often ignored and misunderstood. I believe he is at peace now.

  14. Organizations help, but friends help better. Knowing from experience.

  15. I know people who are always stressed out because of various problems, such as financial or marital issues. They dwell on their problems a lot to the detriment of their sense of well being. I always tell them: Enjoy the rest of your life, what's left of it. And that goes for all of us.

  16. Goodness, you jump out of planes, hike mountains and a bus seat brings you down. Just not fair. Sure hope you are better now.
    Didn't know that about all you have to go through if you haven't jumped in a while. Says a lot about the safety of the sport.
    The horror of suicide is that it leaves the bereaved scrambling to think of what they might have done to prevent it. I lost a cousin and still wonder, "if only--."

  17. you are one seriously positive soul and your happiness exudes through your blog. Jumper Over Seventy. That's quite a club. You're the (wo)MAN!

  18. With Williams, I always wondered how his body could keep up with his genius, that ad-libbing funny man. He's sorely missed.

    The jumps sound like fun!

  19. It sounds like your advice to anyone feeling a bit down would be "take a hike," or "go jump out of an airplane." Both leave you with a smile on your face. Keep it up.

  20. Great to hear you had such a fine time on Sunday! I still don't understand the virtue of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, but I'm glad you have fun doing it.

    Sorry to hear of your "misadventure" with your knee. They ought to post warning signs on bus seats! Really.

    I was deeply sorry to hear, too, of Robin Williams death. There are many of us who go through the same feelings — some, every day — but manage to come up with a different answer. Thank you for mentioning the Suicide Prevention Life Line, and organizations like it.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  21. I'm glad you had fun on Sunday. Sorry to hear about the knee however. Since I just read your Thursday post though it sounds like it is a lot better. Take care of it this week.

    It broke my heart to hear about Robin Williams. I have loved his films for many years.


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