By Skimum Kathy
Today I kept a very special promise. The promise was one I had made to my 19 year old son who is currently serving an LDS Mission in McAllen, Texas. His birthday was last week and we had planned as long as I can remember to spend his entire 19th birthday skiing. In Sam’s mind he would finally have escaped the grip of school work by 19 and be able to focus on “the finer things in life” like fresh powder and “vertical feet”.
Sam was born just into the New Year during a gentle, quiet snow storm. He always loved winter and could play in the snow for hours as a toddler. Skiing was second nature to him. He would work all summer to earn money for his season’s pass. He glided down the mountain with ease and a happy “whoop or holler” to let you know the joy he felt with each turn.
When I returned to skiing after a long mid-life hiatus, Sam was my biggest supporter. I would send him photos from the snow covered Wasatch mountains and he would text back a smile and encourage me to “take a run for him”. If Sam had to be in class he wanted someone to “whoop and holler” down the mountain on his behalf. Sam knew that the “ski gals” as he affectionately called them made me laugh, and that careening down the side of a mountain provided unspeakable joy even to a middle aged carpool specialist like me.
Midway through his senior year of high school, Sam decided the time to serve a mission had come. He wanted to keep a promise he had made to himself to give two years of his life in service. When his call came to the Southern tip of Texas, Sam was excited to learn Spanish and live in “the great state” of Texas.
On July 16th he flew over his beloved Wasatch mountain range headed south. He gave all of us assignments to work on while he was gone. He made me to promise to keep skiing. “Keep skiing with your friends mom”. “I need you to do that for me.”
So today I kept my promise. I “whooped and hollered” through fresh powder for Sam. I hope he could hear me in Texas.