(TACOMA, Wash.) — Monty Montgomery had one wish for his 87th birthday. He wanted to go skydiving, and he wanted it to be a four-generation family event.
His family granted his wish. Montgomery’s 60-year-old daughter, Donna Haskins, took the leap with him, along with a 38-year-old grandson and a 19-year-old granddaughter in Tacoma, Wash.
It took several years for Montgomery to convince Haskins to take the jump, but he said it was important to him to do it now because he is going blind.
“He has macular degeneration, so he’s losing his eyesight, and my son is deploying to Afghanistan in the near future, and he wanted to do it while he could still see and while he grandson was still here,” Haskins told ABC News.
Montgomery is blind in his left eye, but still has some vision his right eye.
The group jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet and fell for 8,000 feet before deploying parachutes.
“It was awesome,” Haskins said. “When you’re doing the free fall, it’s like the world was at my feet and the horizon was beautiful, and it just felt very freeing.”
Montgomery told ABC News’ Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV that he was thrilled to feel the fall, hear the wind, smell and taste the air, but, most of all, that he could see the view.
“He loved it,” Haskins said. “He wants to skydive once more.”
The adventure was especially meaningful for Montgomery and Haskins, who were reunited seven years ago after a divorce separated them when Haskins was a child.
“I took me a while to just work through all the emotions of the whole thing and I finally contacted him. I called him on the phone and said, ‘This is your daughter,'” she said. “We met and we’ve had many adventures, skydiving being the best.”
When Montgomery saw Haskins seven years ago, he told KOMO he “cried like a baby.”
“One day I don’t have a family and the next day I have beaucoups of them,” Montgomery said with a laugh. He is expecting his first great-great-grandchild next spring.
He and his family are relishing all of their time together.
“He’s got a very quick wit,” Haskins said. “He’s very funny and he’s a typical man from that generation. He does not like to show emotion, but now as he’s around his family and great-grandchildren, he can be very tender and emotional.”
The 87-year-old Montgomery is already planning his next big adventure.
“He said that he would like to try bungee jumping,” Haskins said. “He walks every day and he lives alone, and he still cooks and takes care of his house. He’s just amazing for his age.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News
Tahman Bradley, WGN
Kathryn Vasel & Aaron Smith, CNN
Ralph Ellis and Sara Sidner, CNN