For Dave’s birthday, I wanted to do something different; something in his honor. I didn’t want idle time to sit home and think. I know Dave wouldn’t want that either. But, first, I would like to share a story with you.
Nine years ago, as we were leaving Dave’s funeral, a terrible storm was brewing. By the time, we got home, it was a full blown thunderstorm. I recall seeing a flash and immediately hearing the deafening crack and saying, “Boy, that must’ve hit close by.”
It wasn’t until a few days later that I learned that a lightning strike had killed two teens while they were trying to leave a soccer field in Hillsdale. One of the boys, Lee Weisbrod (pic attached), lived only a few houses from me. I never knew Lee or his family, but I did know the unimaginable pain his parents had to be experiencing.
One day as I walked Molly by their house, Lee’s Mom, Nancy, was outside. I introduced myself. Only a mother who has lost a child can fully understand how another mother feels. Everyone tries to say the right thing, but only another mother truly knows. It’s the look in our eyes. But Nancy’s pain had another level; he was her only child. In that first conversation, we realized both boys shared the same birthday, July 6th, but ten years apart, and both loved soccer. They were both also beginning new stages in their lives; Lee beginning college and Dave contemplating his next step in life. We couldn’t understand why this happened. We just couldn’t make sense out of anything.
We became close friends as we took this horrible journey together. We compared feelings, shared tips on how to make it through, and began to laugh again. But when it came to Dave and Lee’s birthdays and anniversaries, we both just knew what the other was feeling. Every year those days were the most difficult to get through. The heat a constant reminder for me and the thunderstorms for Nancy.
One day a few weeks ago, I e-mailed Nancy and said, “How about we do something crazy to honor our boys? How about zip-lining?” Nancy thought it was a great idea to have an adventure that day.
With butterflies in our stomachs, but smiles on our faces, we headed for Kittatinny Ziplines in Barryville, NY. As we were getting geared up, I said, “Can you imagine what Dave and Lee are saying now? I bet they’re shaking their heads in amazement!” It’s a 3000 foot zip-line soaring at speeds up to 50 mph.
To say my heart wasn’t in my throat would be a lie. It’s a 36 story drop. As the guides released us off the tower, I yelled, “This is for you, Dave!” and sprinkled some of his ashes over the trees below. Off to the left was the Delaware River. But, honestly, we were going so fast, everything just whizzed by.
Since we couldn’t carry a camera, Kittatinny was kind enough to share some of their file photos (the one above is us) to show how exciting the experience is.
Exciting is an understatement, but doing it in honor of our sons was so right!! We stepped out of our comfort zone and enjoyed some laughs, too. Dave and Lee would definitely applaud.
Later that night, after our usual reminiscences, we lit luminarias in remembrance of our boys!
Happy Birthday Dave and Lee from your adventurous (?) Moms.