Yesterday was a very emotional day. After months of planning and preparation, nine very brave people jumped from a plane in memory of Matilda Mae and to raise money for the Lullaby Trust. I was honoured to be able to be there to support them as part of the ground crew.
I travelled to the airfield with Monika (Mumonthebrink) and family, and when we got there it was time for the team to register. Dadonthebrink was a late addition to the team as he gallantly stepped up when Monika was unable to do the skydive (this time!) for medical reasons. Monika, I know you were disappointed but things happen for a reason, and it felt right that there was a dad on the team because dads are affected by SIDS too.
After the team were registered they had to wait what I think must have felt like a rather long time before doing the skydive. There was a training session part way through the morning, but there was also plenty of time to take lots of team photos.
Time for a haircut too – the team are very creative in finding ways to raise money for the Lullaby Trust!
There was time to chat, to offer hugs and reassurance and of course to tweet and retweet too. It was wonderful to see #MMskydive trending for almost the whole day as many people showed there support even though they were unable to be there in person.
And then the first three divers were called. When they were suited up, there were hugs and photos and then they set off for the plane.
While the first three were up in the air, the second group were called. There were more photos and hugs, and bubbles for baby Tilda. It was good to see the lovely Susanne smiling through the nerves as she was able to focus on why she was doing this crazy thing. We all wish that we were there for some other reason, but there was so much love in that brief moment.
And then, after about 15 minutes in the plane, the first group of divers emerged through the clouds. I can’t really find the words to describe it. It was incredible. Partly because of the courage it took to do it. And partly because it was a really beautiful sight. But most of all because of the reason for the skydive. Love. Friendship. Support. It comes in many forms. There are quieter ways to show it, all just as valuable. But this was powerful. And unforgettable.
And then, as the first three returned and the second group took to the skies, the final three were ready to go.
The second group came through the clouds and it was amazing, beautiful and emotional all over again. And then the third group appeared and it was all of those things – and also very funny as there was a lot of excited shouting and waving from Michelle who loved it so much that she wanted to do it all over again!
When all the team were safely down, there were pink bubbles, cakes and a last chance to talk before we all went our separate ways.
Jennie, we all want to make a difference. And I think that we all struggle that with knowing that in the way that matters most we can’t. We all wish we could turn back time but we can’t. But we will continue to do what we can to support you and the Lullaby Trust. And we will always remember baby Tilda.
Team Matilda Mae you are amazing. Over £6000 raised from the skydive, and the total is still going up. I know it’s not the end, and there are lots more creative fundraising ideas in the pipeline. There’s no stopping you – now you have jumped out of a plane you can do anything! Love is powerful. Friendship is powerful. Be proud of yourselves x