Snow crunched under my boots as I walked into a small gathering of pine trees that morning. Not having been there before, I wasn't sure where I was headed, but soon enough found a clearing at the edge of the hill I walked upon. Finding a rock to sit on, I looked out over the pine covered hills, letting the view coax me into a reverie of thought. It didn't take long for the tears to fall. They had been quietly waiting for the right time to break free, and they cascaded rather somberly down my cheeks.
I was only fifteen at the time and attending a church sponsored ski trip. My mother and I had argued about my going. When she gave in to my selfish, teen-age reasoning, she said, "Go. Go ski for me. I've always wanted to do that." So I had done it. Not for her, but for me. There I was in the mountains, enjoying a vacation with friends and up until that moment, that moment on the rock, I had refused to think of her. She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer a few months earlier. The doctors didn't think she had much time left and they were right. I lost her two months after that ski trip. The rock of my life.