Sallie Felton, Life Coach, Weblog

February 27, 2009

A Need To Unload

Filed under: Conquering Clutter, Life Coaching, Life Transitions — Sallie Felton @ 3:52 am



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:


  1. Saying thank you and being grateful just isn’t enough, for me, for saving someone’s life
  2. Knowing the length of your lifetime is not for us to know, it is how you live that matters
  3. 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?


Sallie Felton

Life Coach

Transition Specialist

International Talk Radio Host


  1. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

    THIS IS A DREAM JOB! No gimmicks. No catch. Work from home whenever you want!

    Comment by Mikhaela — March 3, 2009 @ 6:32 am

  2. Sallie, My goodness, I had hoped I was listening to a repeat of an older show when, listening to a playback from your archives, I heard you reference your son barely surviving an avalanche.

    I was speaking with my mom yesterday, 84 years young and the mother of 9 kids, and more grandkids and great grand kids… She was worried about me, my health, as I work to create Time Well Spent, following my vision to my authentic self and purpose. We had also been chatting about my niece, living with MS, and having just given birth to twin babies, perfect little miracles.

    It is the paradox of motherhood, that we give of ourselves and want the best, fullest lives for our children, even if the happiness that brings includes a sense of worry and concern in us. Of course, we worry for their safety, their health, their happiness. We love them! And, yes, we let them go and we bear that worry (sometimes more quietly than others!), trying to put it all in perspective, if we are to enjoy and celebrate our own lives and the lives and accomplishments of our precious children, not just when they are newborns, dependent on us for their every need, but forever – long after they’ve left the proverbial nest, spreading their wings and flying where the wind and their own hopes, dreams and passion take them. So, worry is a piece of the whole, but only a piece.

    You’ve captured that balance well, that awareness of their precious lives, made more meaningful because they do follow their hearts and their passions, but with Mom and a home-cooked meal in a loving home waiting when needed ~ and our love forever with them, regardless of where their journey takes them. That they have the courage and passion to pursue their dreams means we’ve done our job. But, we never really retire, do we?

    Thanks for sharing…
    Fondly, Nancy Gallant

    Comment by twsblog — April 1, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  3. You are a brave and wise mother. I can’t believe what you have gone through. Bless your heart and your families too.

    Comment by Lorelei — April 2, 2009 @ 5:56 am

  4. Sallie, I just started reading your Blog. Now, I understand why you are where you are….I agree with you regarding our children and how important it is to let them live their lives. But, you put it into words that completely explain why we let our children do things that are dangerous.

    YOU are amazing! Insightful. Great Mother. I am glad your boys are OK. And, they can continue doing what they love and live life! viva la vida!

    Comment by Kelley Braun — July 18, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  5. Well, both of my parents had “freak” accidents in their families and vowed nothing would happen to their children. Needless to say my mother was a bit over protective. Sometimes I felt crippled by fear of doing really active sports (like skiing).

    Then I got bone cancer and breast cancer, lost a leg and a breast. (Ironically, learned then learned to downhill ski for the first time).

    Can we cover all the bases? I think we can try our best and teach them the skills they need, and then we have to let go and live (and let them live enjoy what they do).

    You are doing a great job of that Sallie!

    Comment by Meg Wolff — September 3, 2009 @ 2:15 am

  6. Hi Sallie,

    As a CVA current parent and a CVA alumni parent I get it. That fire in your boys that makes them live on the edge and live life for all it’s worth…all the while I sit in awe of their abilities to defy gravity and fly free in the universe. I cringe when they begin to ascend. In the same breath I trust their ability and have learned to fly myself…funny, a Mom learning so much about freedom and living and choice from her sons. I am thankful for them more and more with every new conversation and insight they share. Mom to Mom…we are blessed.

    Please give CVA’s best to the boys…and tell them to stay on top of the snow!

    We would love for them to share their alumni lives with others, current students really benefit from CVA Alumni…they can share on Facebook CVA Alumni page.

    Comment by Wendy — September 30, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

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