"Go ahead," I hollered. "I'll meet you at the next bend." We were on the second run of the day and the day felt absolutely perfect. The sun was shining, the temps were in the low 30's, and we were beyond the first ski-trip as a family so we didn't have to spend the entire day on the bunny hill, taking a 30-second run down and repeating it all over again ... time and time again.
As I began gaining speed, I thought to myself, "Finally! The wind in my hair, the beautiful backdrop of the Green Mountains, and time with my family." I never wanted that moment to end.
Next thing I know, I turn a corner-the one that leads to the narrow trail and in the blink of an eye, I hear a blood-curdling scream that I knew in an instant was the scream of MY daughter. I frantically scanned the trail left to right up and down but she was no where in sight. As each second passed without spotting her, the faster my heart beat. About 100 feet further I spotted a large family off to the side of the trail peering down a ravine. "No, please no. Do not let it be her down there where they are frantically peering." There was an older man who appeared to be the father who had already taken off his skis. He was heading down to get her. All I could do was repeat over and over again, "Please let her be ok! Please let her be ok! Please let her be ok!"
From that moment until ski patrol got her down the mountain, time seemed to move in slow-motion. Because of the way she was wedged between two trees and the depth of the powdery snow, it took 3 adults to carefully hoist her back up to the trail. When ski patrol showed up, she comforted us-reassuring us that, although she hit her head on a tree, she was going to be ok. She was transported to first aid and then to the local medical center. "We're so glad you were wearing a helmet, sweetie!" Everyone repeated those words over and over again.
We all learned a very important lesson that day. Be sure to ALWAYS wear your helmet when skiing! They really do make a difference.