-- One woman took her 84th birthday celebration to new heights this year, earning herself the nickname “sky queen” from all her friends and neighbors.
Despite her age, Dodie Bruening of Irmo, South Carolina, is a whippersnapper, to say the least.
“I’m going skydiving,” she said enthusiastically while suiting up in her jumpsuit at Skydive Carolina Oct. 26. “It’s on my bucket list.”
Skydiving has been on the top of Bruening’s bucket list since she was a child. She was all geared up to go for her 80th birthday when suddenly an accident kept her from checking the item off her list.
“I was going to do it on my 80th birthday," she told ABC News. "I had thought about jumping since I was a little girl. We lived near an army base when I was a child and I’d see the planes go over and even as a child I’d tell my siblings, ‘I want to do that.’
“I was going to do it for my 80th but two weeks before the jump I fell and broke my wrist and the doctors said I couldn’t do it.”
But this year, it was full steam ahead for her 84th birthday. Nothing was going to stop her now.
“Let’s get this show on the road,” she told her instructor as they were heading out to board the plane.
As the crew traveled about 14,000 feet in the air, Bruening was all smiles, keeping calm, cool and collected to finally make the leap.
“I don’t believe it,” she said upon landing.
Without missing a beat, however, she immediately quipped, “Loosen me up. I feel like I’m in a straightjacket,” referring to all the tight gear she was wearing.
The uncomfortable clothing didn't seem to matter, though. When asked whether this was one of her favorite birthdays to date, she simply replied, “Absolutely. I felt like an angel up there, flying around like a butterfly.”
As for her birthday plans next year, “If I live to be 85,” she said, “you better believe I’m going back up."