Wednesday, April 14, 2010

As I promised......

The story behind the picture as promised.
It all started with Elder Nerent deciding he needed to bungee jump over the Royal Gorge.
He didn't just want to, he needed to.
It was the summer before his ninth grade year.
The beginning of that awkward transformation from boy to man.
Even his hair turned curly that summer as if to remind his mom that there would be big changes underfoot.
As soon as we entered the park he declared that he needed to do it.
(This is the bungee jump he is pointing to as seen from the other side..... the safe side of the gorge.)
For those of you not familiar with Royal Gorge in Colorado. Here is what it looks like.

The bungee jump flung you right over this!
But whatever.....he HAD too.
Problem was that he didn't HAVE to do it alone.
In fact he made it known to everyone that he would like one of us to join him.
It was after all a death sling built for two.
Mr. T was not an option from the get go on account of his major dislike of heights.
(You notice I didn't say the work "fear". Mr. T. does NOT have fears.)
Peanut was just out of elementary school and wasn't really a viable victim, I mean candidate.
I actually love rides that plummet (weird I know) but I am extremely prone to motion sickness particularly when I have to go backwards and when you are riding on a giant rubber band....well let's just say it can be unpredictable.
That left Raar.
(Insert laughter here)
Raar was the person least likely to try anything that could be construed as dangerous. She didn't learn to ride a bike until she was almost 9. She didn't climb anything or make any sudden movements. She was a thinker and a talker....not a risk taker.
So for sure that was not an option.
For the next two hours Elder Nerent asked and begged and wheedled and whined.
I even told him that he could go alone as long as he paid for it with his own money.
I thought that the money thing would stop him.
But no,
After a couple of hours he decided he would go it alone.
Man/boy versus gorge.
As we arrived at the jump and out of the blue. Raar says that she will do it.
I have had many twists and turns and surprises as a mother but this was one of the biggest.
I was in such shock that I didn't even have the wind to ask her,
before she was whisked off to get in her harness gear.
They took my two children who started to appear younger and more fragile to me by the second to a board to go over the directions for the jump.

They explained all of the procedures and gave all the warnings. I think that possible death was one of them.
The picture I favorite and one of the ones I might rescue if in a burning building...
Was taken right after their instructions as they are waiting for their turn.
Here it is again
This is what fear and love look like side by side.
Note the look of terror on Raar's face.
Note the protective arm around her shoulder. (This was NOT a common occurrence for Elder Nerent since he is a sweet kind young man but not real touchy feely.)
I cannot look at this photo without a smile and sometimes a tear or two.
Because that is what every mother hopes for in their children.
Love and overcoming fear.
I will now post the pictures of the actual bungee jump.
But I am saving the best for last.
I will tell you what Raar said when she got off.
The reason why she did what she did.

Look at the fear in her fake smile
Being harnessed in. (I am a little nervous at this point and wondering what kind of mother lets her kids do this)
Raar is starting to cry enough that the employees are asking her if she is alright.
I love this picture too.
Raar's smile.
It could not be more real.
And the reason why she did it?
She would whisper it in my ear a little later,
after the congratulatory high fives, smiles and adrenalin died down.
"Do you know why I did it?"
she whispered.
"Why", I eagerly responded.
"Because I didn't want my brother to die alone."
(Insert tears here)


Bonnie said...

OK, you have me crying again! I HAVE to stay away from you!!! OH, I loved that story! It reminded me of watching Dave dirt jump off a ladder sticking out of a cliff (on his mountain bike) and having another mom say "I can't believe you let him do that! I can't believe you are so calm" I wasn't calm inside, but knew that supporting him in this thing he loved would help me to support him in other areas of his life.
Do you think it helped us have the faith to send our boys to Guatemala? I think so! Love you, dear friend. You are a remarkable Mother. (and I LOVE the curly hair!!)

Victoria said...

That is so AWESEOME!!! What a great sister.

Heidi said...

If I hired you....would you put MY stories into words?

Leslie said...

They say that a picture is worth 1000 words. But I REALLY like your words! Such a great story told by the master! Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Anonymous said...

It's great!!..........................................

Just ME the MOM said...

I was hoping until the end that you HAD TO BE KIDDING!! But I loved the sweet one liner you finished up with:) "Great love hath no man than this . . ."

Sweet . . .