This morning I heard the words to a song, and a memory flashed back from 2004. We were in Big Cottonwood Canyon at Brighton Ski Resort in July. Our grown kids all met us there with their families, and we had a family reunion with my parents, brothers and sisters with their families. We had a great time, but near the end I kind of wanted our own family to do something together before we all left to go our separate ways. I knew that there was a disc golf game on Solitude Mountain and thought we could hike up with the family and those who wanted to, could play a game of frizbee golf. There are some who don’t like hiking and didn’t want to go, but after some coaxing they decided to be supportive of the idea to do something together and came along.
I obviously hadn’t done enough research, because when we arrived at the trail head and looked up at the incline, I was a little worried. I had no idea that the mountain trail was so steep. But everyone said, “Oh, we can make it up!” The little kids had some trouble, but the adults helped and we finally made it up to an area that was somewhat flat. We decided that was as far enough and hadn’t even made it up to the course yet! So some said they would go on ahead and check out the golf course. They intended not to be gone too long and I stayed with the kids along with some of the other family members. We waited what seemed a very long time and were starting to get somewhat worried! Should we go back? I didn’t think we could get the kids down the mountain by ourselves. Finally, they returned and said that one of the discs had been lost on a throw and they had spent a long time looking for it. We carefully hiked down the mountain and returned with no injuries and voracious appetites.
One of my favorite pictures of our hike is of Matthew carrying 1 year old Dakota on his shoulder up and down the mountain. His gait must have lulled her to sleep as he walked. Even now the music by Josh Groban lingers in my mind and the words seem fitting:
“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains; You raise me up to walk on stormy seas; I am strong when I am on your shoulders; You raise me up to more than I can be.”
Matthew passed away on Dakota’s 3rd birthday, and the memory of the hike and the picture of him carrying her on his shoulders is very special to me.