Buried Alive. That’s how the beginning of the phone call started. Three weeks ago our son, Corey, was in an avalanche in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, buried 5 feet down, and found unconscious by his brother, Taylor, and room mate, Topher. To make matters even more interesting, Corey was in a prior avalanche in Alaska just 10 months ago and had his ACL repaired.
So I ask how does one, as a parent deal with that type of call and stress? I have spent hours reflecting three things:
- Saying thank you and being grateful just isn’t enough, for me, for saving someone’s life
- Knowing the length of your lifetime is not for us to know, it is how you live that matters
- Continuing to support a lifestyle, which seems to be intravenously injected into the soul of our son, without adding doubt to his self-confidence?
Upon flying to Jackson Hole to see Corey, I was met at the airport by our son, Taylo,r and our daughter, Sarah. I became acutely aware that Taylor’s hug was tighter than before and his arms engulfed me. We just stood there, nestled in each other, whispering how glad we were to see each other. (Little did I know that Taylor had also been slid and was able to grab onto a tree). Sarah joined the reunion of stretched out arms. It was a few days later when she realized she could have lost two brothers. Reality hit her hard.
There was something very different in the demeanor of Taylor. I got a sense he knew what it was like to have glimpsed death.
When I saw Topher, I told him that I could not cook enough home cooked dinners to make up for what he did. I owed him more than I had and then some. He saved our son from being buried alive! I wondered how he was processing this.
I looked out at the fields of snow realizing that as a parent we cannot say when and where the lifetime of our children ends. It is not in our hands, but what I am sure about is HOW we choose to live our lives. Living just to exist is worse than living to LIVE.
Being ever present is a profound way to live one’s life. I realize that even more.
Both my husband and I will worry about what they do. They have chosen a lifestyle that lives on the edge. It is their profession. However, they have been well trained, educated and are very aware of the risks.
I had a friend say to me, “Sallie, how can you continue to have them do this? They could die!” Yes, they could, but “I WOULD BE KILLING THEM EVEN MORE IF I WERE TO ASK THAT THEY STOP DOING WHAT THEY LOVE.”
I can’t do that; they would lose their spirit, their passion, and their zest for life. The flicking of the candle would die.
So I ask they each tell us what they are doing, what they have learned, what are their dreams…and I listen. And I listen some more. So much that I hear their heart’s beat with enthusiasm. For they are living their lives exactly they want too and buried in the thrill of life.
Thanks for listening…I needed that.
I ask you, what would you do if you were a parent? What would you do differently? And who would it benefit?
International Talk Radio Host