Robert Reed had spent years talking about the prospect of taking a skydive. When he saw his 90th birthday fast approaching he decided that he would mark the occasion by jumping out of a plane. He said that he had ruminated on the idea of joining the paratroopers during WWII but decided against it.
Mr. Reed indicated that he owed his motivation to skydive a former president, saying, “I figured if George Bush can do it by golly I can do it!”
Even more important, though, is an inspiration more closely related to the heart. Mr. Reed said that during the skydive, “I feel I’m closer to Heaven near my wife.”
He indicated, had she not passed away a year prior, she would have jumped with him. The couple was married for 70 years before she passed. Since the day she died, he has worn her wedding ring alongside a cross on a chain around his neck. He said, “I’ll wear them for the rest of my life, as long as I live.”
Several family members, friends, and even his GP, whom he had asked 10 years before to jump with him on his 90th birthday, elected to skydive with him at Go Jump Oceanside Inc., a local drop zone. The doctor said, “Every couple years he’d remind me, you promised, so over the 10 years, it’s turned into a promise!”
Although he had a number of loved ones and friends ready and willing to jump with him, when the day finally arrived, he was the one who couldn't contain his enthusiasm. Mr.Reed’s granddaughter explained that although he had always had interest in skydiving, the family never imagined he would go through with it. And that, as it's his 90th birthday wish, the family had conceded and decided to jump with him.
She expressed her thoughts on the day, despite her nervousness by saying that, “I’m thinking about is the love for my grandpa and how excited he is, and I’m just trying to – if my 90-year-old grandpa can jump, I can do it!”
His daughter Karen, who had started the planning process two months prior added, “We just want to make everything special for him since we lost my mother a year ago”, “He would like to be with her right now, but we’re not letting him go yet."
Mr. Reed and family took the plunge on Monday. He said after landing his tandem skydive, it was, “the best thing I ever did in my life!”