Friday, August 10, 2018

Crying on the Mountain

I just went to the memorial service for Tim Valentine, a strong Christian who died last Saturday when his Extra 400 (N13EP) crashed shortly after take off. He was flying with another pilot and three passengers to the Ponca City pancake breakfast fly in, which happens the first Saturday morning of every month. The coworker friend of mine who owns a Cessna 150 and I have flown there twice for breakfast on a Saturday. Plus, Tim's parents in law sit beside me in church every Sunday. And he was involved with Boy Scouts, where another friend and coworker is the scoutmaster. So it hits close to home despite the fact I never met him.

As I sat there and they talked about his adventure taking, flying, scuba diving, travels, and even mentioned his view from the mountain top, I cried. I realized that a lot of crying happens in the mountains, but it rarely gets talked about back on the plains. The mountains push us mentally, emotionally, and physically to our breaking point. There is a lot of joy there, because it's a difficult accomplishment, but there are also a fair amount of tears. Tears because you are tired, hungry, thirsty, bleeding, scared. Tears when an avalanche kills 16 people and you see the bodies. Tears because you just went through something mind blowing that you know you won't totally be able to describe to people. How do you describe the hanging belay at the top of the 5.10 pitch on the Casual Route on Longs Peak?

Point being, take the lows with the highs. Don't just cry for the person who died in a plane crash or on a mountain, also celebrate that person being in the airplane and on the mountain.

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