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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sliding into Siblings

             It was a very snowy day on the slopes of Bogus Basin when I was sixteen years old, I stood beside my skiing buddy, my lovely friend Rebecca. We helped each other get ready to ski down the Silver Queen slope.
As the high wind hit against our faces, we stopped at the top for a moment to ski together slowly.
 Just then we heard over our shoulders "Eeeeeecheeewawa WOMAN!" as the new skier flew by us in such high speed, shooting snow up over us as I laughed.
I explained to Rebecca "That was just my sister sayin' "HI."  sometimes she sings at me instead." I smiled and shrugged.
Rebecca questioned "She calls you "Woman."?" I nodded "Yup, it helps me know if she is in a good mood or not if she calls me that or not."

My sister was truly flying down the slope in front of us, in one big cloud of snow dust she was like a little dot against the wide open landscape all around us on the mountain side.
Rebecca asked "Isn't she going way to fast? That's not safe is it?" I chuckled and shrugged "Well, that's my sister for ya. She is a wild one, completely fearless and good at most anything she does!....just don't make her mad at ya."

Rebecca asked as we began to move slowly down the hillside "Are you two friends?" I thought for a moment watching my sister fly down the same slope we were staring  down, I replied "I never really know day to day with her, for my part we are friends though....I guess she would say it depends too."
 I was watching my sister's skiing, thinking about this interesting question "Are we friends when we are first family at birth? Is that a forced friendship or a natural one?" 
I was lost in my thoughts watching my sister zoom through the slope right in front of me when suddenly she hit an ice patch! It was like a bomb went off under her! Just like in slow motion of watching a movie! I screamed without thinking, I saw her fall like she was made of those fun little pieces in kids toys called legos! 
I screamed instantly in that same second that she hit the ground so hard and wiped out...I screamed out  "DANA!"
 My alarm cry echoed out through the whole canyon of that windy cold winter day. 
Rebecca whispered beside me "Dear God protect her!" as I grabbed for her arm in my sudden eye witnessing fear I cried out again "Dana! Dana! hold on! I'm coming, I'm coming!" Real honest fear pushed me  forward down the ski slope faster then I usually liked, fear was beating through my chest because it had looked so bad, so painful to me!  
Rebecca waved me on saying "I'll wait here for my Dad, go, go careful yourself!" 
My heart was bursting out of my chest, burning through all my layers as pure sweat in my struggle to hurry to her side was leaving me completely wobbly! (and of course back at that helpless age, I was praying so much too) 
I was shocked by what I had just seen! I kept an eye on her laying there, she was completely still in a tangled mess. "

Then from the opposite slope came someone closer to her, who ran straight towards her and touch her, helped her sit down and she burst out screaming! 
It was such a terrifying sound of her being in pain that I burst into a thousand tears instantly for my sister, my crying was in full force of panic in not knowing how badly she was hurt too. 
While I noticed how my praying helped calm me down in the whole process of getting to her side right away!
 The person who had ran up to her a few seconds after she hit the snow was very hands on with my sister from what I could see as I skied up to them, I knew she needed me in this constantly screaming and the first person on the scene of her crash was our very own brother! 
I was in awe of seeing him there holding onto our hysterical sister in both of his arms! As I arrived removing my equipment. I exclaimed "Derek??? Where in the world did you come from?" What are the odds we 3 siblings would be at the same place at the same time??? 
While all of his buddies ran around us gathering up our sisters things, her hysteria was loud and crazy, so now everyone was coming in to help. Derek held on to Dana tightly his arms all the way locked around her as he said "Calm down, calm down...Don't move! Are you hurt?" She didn't seemed to notice any of us, as he looked worried at me "I can't get her to stay still!"  I felt like suddenly I knew what to say and what to do so I faced my red face crazy sister  demanding her to sit down and be still, our brother Derek had gone to her side right away, he first tried to hold one arm and talk to her, but she screaming out craziness and trying to push everyone away from her made him wrap his arms completely around her a very risky move, for to my  surprise she didn't fight him off or punch him in face as I would of worried she would do. Instead she rather needed us to take charge of her for once and we did, 
we all worked together in helping her and so she sat down still and trying to get her barrings.
She was still so very angry in that moment that through my symptomatic tears I bravely face her so she could really see me, saying right at her "Listen to me, look at me, Sissy please be still and think about this, are you bleeding, are you broken any where?" 
Derek had a scarf around his neck that he pulled out and helped hold to her bloody nose, since she was sitting there thinking about her injures, she was clearly stubborn in not crying so her replies were snippy and aggressive. It didn't bother either Derek or I to help her make sure nothing was broken in her as we got her back to the lodge safely.... 

In awe I was left to think about what had happened and I asked my mother in bewilderment "What are the odds that both Derek and I would be that close to Dana when she wiped out???"
Our mother explained that this all had happen in order to warn Dana that she needs to slow down, that God knew she would need both of us at the very moment in time to help her.
I was left thinking to myself "...maybe so, maybe so? Still so amazing to me."
My brother is 3 years younger then me with his own group of friends, so during those days in high-school I barely saw him once we went skiing, in fact I could go a whole day never once seeing him. Our Sister was fearless and fast so she skied with many great skiers in black diamond slopes and back trails even taking on jumps or moguls. Sometimes I would bump into her as she flew by me singing or saying her ever famous ""Eeeeeecheeewawa WOMAN!" 

So as we rode home that night in the back of the hooded pick-up under sleeping bags and pillows, we all seemed to have a new appreciation for each other.
I noticed Dana was in big trouble with our Mother as we loaded up in the dark cold night. I explained "She hit pure ICE no one even the best of a skier can't control an ice patch like that." Derek also added what he felt while walking towards Dana on the ice. These conversations seemed to lessen our mother's stern face. 
Then in back canopy on the almost 2 hour drive home Dana asked lots of questions in what had happened from our points of view. 
I loved this moment in time, I knew I always will remember it for the sharing of stories, the connecting through fear and the gratefulness that we can laugh about this now!

Derek shared that when he looked up seeing Dana skied by so fast in front of him, he had no idea it was her until she hit the ice  patch and then he heard me scream out her name at the same moment, so he knew that this person was HIS sister who needed him right away! 
Derek passed us the bag of chips as he continued on about what he had seen, and what he feared.
He explained "I barely reach you and it was like you didn't know who I was because she started swinging at me! The screaming was such a surprise I didn't know you could scream that loud before!" Dana and I giggled, he continued "And so I didn't know what to do so I just hugged you in hopes you would realize it was me, then Debby slides right up all crying and barking orders to everyone too! I was like "Have my sisters all gone crazy???" She was like almost mad in her commands, I was like whatever it takes to keep you from screaming anymore." Dana replied half laughing, half worried "Oh I know it rather shocked me too! I was like "Is THIS Debby??? Who is this person really??? Not my silly afraid of her own shadow sister telling ME what to do right now? I couldn't believe how determined she was in having me sit down." We burst out laughing as we realized there was so much more to each of us in facing a crisis. 

I explained "When I saw you fly out over the ice, I screamed without thinking then I heard your screaming and I thought you were almost dead or something, as I listened to your screaming I realized that you were telling everyone to get back off the same ice patch you were on....I mean you were more mad at everyone coming to help you then you were actually hurt. I figured all that out as I skied up to the scene and so I just knew what was really going on. Everyone else thought you were broken and in serious pain, but I realized you were trying to protect everyone else from coming near you."  She looked at me blankly "I don't remember that at all? In fact I don't remember even hitting the ice or what happened right afterwords, I can't remember anything expect fear that other people will come flying by and wipe out too. I guess I was screaming, I felt like I was surrounded by complete idiots! Then I saw you walk up to me that is what I actually remember is you demanding me to sit down." Derek nodded quickly at us with his eyes wide as he also added "You were screaming out the moment I touch you it's why I grabbed your arm, then I just hugged you hoping you would realize I was there and stop screaming. I was also hoping you would NOT punch me in the face!" 
We burst out laughing  all together, we laugh till our sides hurt. It was funny to see how much we had in common after all.
In that one crazy moment of my sister skiing by, of me screaming out her name as her huge wipe out unfolded to the very same moment my brother takes off his skis to run up and help her, I slide up into our family scene, into our growing up awkward friendships.

I said very thoughtful more to myself then to my brother and sister as we huddled in under the blankets getting cold riding in the back of the little pick up all the way home in the midnight hour, I smiled at how nice it was be friends with my siblings even for that fleeting moment in time, I said out loud  "How Amazing, how truly amazing it was that WE were all on the same side of the mountain at the very same time?!?!? That we all came together to help each other, sliding into each other at such a moment as that, It's like what Mom said that God knew this would bring us closer together ....maybe?"  

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