Heaven above above

Born and raised on Kauai, Lucy Ceballos had never seen her home from above.

When she did, it was more amazing than she imagined.

“I felt I was in beautiful heaven when I was way up and saw my island where I was born and live,” she said. “Once I saw the waterfalls, the mountains, the ocean, everything lush, I was speechless.”

The 90-year-old recently received what was called the gift of a lifetime when Safari Helicopter made her wish to soar over the island come true.

“Every so often someone does something so amazing, reassuring us that we truly live in paradise with hearts of aloha,” said her daughter, Rose Warken Ceballos, who helped arrange the trip.

Her mother, she said, “is a beautiful woman full of Kauai history. Never lived anywhere and had a humble beginning of growing up on a plantation.”

She said the staff of Safari Helicopter was welcoming and filled with such smiling spirits it “made their gift that much more beautiful” to her mother.

“She still talks of her flight and will so for the rest of her life,” said Warken Ceballos, who told Safari Helicopters that her mother “wants you all to know that you have enriched her life in ways she never thought would be possible had not for your generous gift of giving back to our island.”

Warken Ceballos hopes the kindness shown by Safari Helicopter spreads through the island’s tourism industry “to be reminded that success is only successful through the giving back to our kupuna. They are our legacy.”

Even weeks later, as Lucy Ceballos remembers the magnificent view from above, she cries as she speaks of her experience.

But she was never afraid. Even as the helicopter lifted off, she only felt joy.

“I don’t want seniors to be afraid. I go and I was not afraid,” she said. “I was just in awe and cry, cry, cry, not sad, but because it was so unbelievable. I still think it’s a dream. I want every senior to experience it. At our age, we need to see how beautiful Kauai is from heaven above.”

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