We were all loaded up, just leaving for the Manti on Friday when my buddy got a call on his cell phone. His face went solemn and serious. He kept asking “What’s wrong? Is this a joke?” When he hung up the phone we knew something serious had happened. He and his wife rushed to the hospital as they were told that his mother was in poor health. I, along with a few other good friends, stayed at his house awaiting the news of whether or not the hunt would still happen. After several hours we suspected something bad had happened, but I was caught completely off guard when he called and told us that his Mother had passed away. It was totally unexpected.

I returned home that night, after a long drive full of reflection. Sometimes it is easy, especially this time of year, to get caught up in life that you forget the most important things. This experience got me thinking about life, divinity, and the Creator’s plan on our behalf. I feel so blessed to have such great friends, both in my family and outside of blood relations. The reason I love the fall so much is because I have an opportunity to spend time with them — enjoying the wild lands and building life-long friendships. That is what is really important.

I received a text from my buddy yesterday. He wants to give it another try sometime later this week. Hopefully it will be therapeutic him…well, for both of us.

Cole, I’ll miss your Mom, she was such a strong and wonderful lady who raised a great son and family. You should be very proud!