I have met so many people that have inspired me and I wish I could name them all but for obvious reasons I don’t have enough time to write about everyone.
In December 2012 we traveled to Winter Park, Colorado for a Lambert Family ski vacation. Twenty of us stayed together in one big beautiful house on a mountainside. Winter Park was so beautiful, especially because it snowed like crazy in the days leading up to our arrival. We walked, skied, laughed and just had a great time together celebrating as a family.
Our niece Monica invited her boyfriend Ian and his parents Ron and Kathy Tornberg to join us on this ski vacation. We had met Ian before this trip but had never met his parents, so we were anxious to get to know them. Ian’s dad was in a terrible car accident nine years ago and is currently in a wheelchair and has some trouble with his speech. Both Ian and Kathy have worked very hard to help rehabilitate Ron over the past nine years to get him where he is today. After Ron’s accident, Ian quit school and came home to help Kathy care for him. Now our niece Monica, who is studying to become a nurse, is also loving and helping Ian’s family.
Immediately, I felt a strong bond towards Ian’s family. I was amazed at Ron and Kathy’s willingness to travel to Colorado given the obstacles they face daily. Then I heard Ron had signed up to go skiing down the mountain. I remember thinking, “How is this guy going skiing down this steep mountain? I am relatively healthy and I have trouble skiing down a bunny hill, let alone a mountain.”
The day of Ron’s ski adventure, Mark and I ran into Ron and Kathy on the ski slopes mid morning. Ron was sitting on his ski sled with two friendly professional ski instructors by his side. The instructors invited our whole family to ski with them after lunch. The instructors were going to take Ron to the highest point on the mountain and wanted us to share this special moment with him. So after lunch our family gathered together with the skiers and non-skiers at the base of the mountain for a picture.
We headed up the mountain on several chair rails until we reached the top. It was an amazing sight to see how happy Ron was surrounded by his new family.
Mark and I watched Ron ski down the hill with a huge smile. Ron spent the whole day on the slope with two wonderful instructors and was in his glory.
On our drive home from our vacation I was in awe of what I had just experienced with the Tornberg family. Now that I am facing some similar difficulties in my life, I hope I take Ron’s approach to life. I am not sure I will ski down a mountain like Ron, but I do know that if I want to do something out of the ordinary or difficult that there’s always a way, especially with a great support system like mine.