Eliza Campbell, Grade 7, Dalby State High School - Bunya Campus
I waited apprehensively, wondering what had made me say yes to doing this, while the instructor checked all the straps on my harness one last time. I still couldn’t believe I was about to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane. I had never imagined I would do this. I was a nervous wreck; I probably wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for my mother. She had wanted me to go skydiving with her since I was old enough to do a tandem jump. I had never said yes, too scared to do it, all too aware of the risks, assuming I still had years of opportunities left. Luckily, none of those risks seemed reality, until my mother’s accident. The day I got the call and was told that my mother’s parachute had not deployed correctly, and she had plummeted to the ground at breakneck speed, I couldn’t believe something so terrible could happen to someone as amazing as my mother. I had been optimistic, believing that my mother – the strongest woman I knew – would recover fully. After several, nail-biting emergency surgeries and many, many months of rest and recuperation my mother had recovered, the only thing limiting her living life to its fullest was that, she was now paraplegic. Being the crazy, strong woman she was, she didn’t let it stop her doing anything. We had been visiting them because she had just been given permission from the doctors and she was going to do a tandem skydive, for the first time since her accident. When we had arrived, she asked me one last time if I would go skydiving with her and now, here I was. Looking out the small window in the plane, I could see my kids, husband and my father standing down there in their brightly coloured clothes waving at me giving me the encouragement I needed. I could see the joy in my mother's face, behind that massive, bright orange lipstick smile. I bet she still couldn’t believe we were doing this, and one day, I knew my kids and my husband would join us up here and she still wouldn’t believe it. Even if I got my Dad to do it, she still wouldn’t believe it – I still couldn’t believe it for that matter. As the final safety messaged crackled, my eyes started tearing up as I thought of all the great stories my Mum had from skydiving. This was the start of our stories. Smiling, I wiped a tear from my eye, kissed my mother’s cheek and jumped out of the aeroplane into the bright blue sky.