There’s a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving but for me I’m most thankful for my mom. Looking back on many of the most memorable times in my life, it was my mom who was there. Sure, my dad was always there, pushing us to succeed in so many ways, but my mom has always stood by through the tough and not-so-tough times.
When riding my bike down the old dirt road to the second tee on Purple Sage, in a hurry to catch my older brother who was playing golf with the Porter boys, I hit a large rock. I promptly flipped over and ripped the skin off the top of my right knuckle.
My brother came and scooped me up and took me to my mom who Band-aided the wound until it healed into a nice-sized scar. That scar helped me learn right from left, as I would always check my knuckles, and it’s still there today.
When we used to ski race, I was at the Salt Lake Tribune Cup at Solitude resort. A bad crash at the finish line into the timing system and table gave me a terrible concussion and a cut needing seven stitches next to my left eye. My doctor Dad couldn’t sew me up because he was halfway across Wyoming at my brother’s swim meet.
I woke up in the ski patrol’s arms as he loaded me into the car so my mom could take me to the ER. I lay on the couch, seeing stars for a week; it was before everyone wore ski helmets.
A ski accident at Nordic Valley resulted in a broken collar bone. Dad watched me hit a jump and land sideways while free skiing between races. My dad set my break and put my arm in a sling in the motorhome. My racing was over for the weekend, so my mom just sat there and took care of me.
I crashed my three-wheeler into one of the T posts holding up an archery hay bale on Double Hill, promptly snapping my middle toe in two. I limped home and my mom took the best care of me until my dad could get home and set my broken toe.
It was many years until I had an injury again and my parents would always refer to me as the accident-prone child. My mom was always there for me, not just as the nurse that she was. She was my biggest fan and cheerleader. Until recently I’d always thought my dad had written the articles for the newspaper about us kids competing. Turns out, it was my mom.
As a college senior, I swam in the last swim meet of my career. My dad, tied up in the ER, couldn’t make it to the meet in Indiana.
My mom, just like she’d done a thousand times before over the years, sat in the hot and muggy swimming pool stands and cheered her heart out for the best competitive races of my life. I’ll never forget her being there for me and, oh, how I wished my dad could have been there as well.
As an adult, my mom has been there for me countless times — for me to lean on, to confide in, to ask for advice and especially to listen. When times have been tough, I could always count on my mom.
So this Thanksgiving, with all my heart I want to say “thanks Mom!” She’s given my so much in my life, I wish I could give her back hers.