All my love to Weems and his family...I just posted this to my blog, but wanted to share it directly with this incredible community who has known and loved Weems and his family for so long.
While I was at Epic Ski, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Weems Westfeldt, a true pioneer in the sport of skiing, and author of the book Brilliant Skiing Every Day.
Weems is a man with contagious humor, the feeling when he enters the room is one of abject joy. Even though I had only JUST met him, Weems took time out of his busy schedule to encourage me to ski my best, he was hooting at me from the lift, waving at me from the ground, and sharing the experiences of his life in skiing when we got to walk and talk together.
On Saturday, we were walking down the hall of the Huntly with Squatty, and talking about our kids, my two boys and their skiing, and Weem's TRIPLETS! They are all 22 years old, and all very accomplished skiers and riders. Weems was smiling and laughing while he was relating the crazy things his kids can do on skis, and his pride in them was obvious. This is a man who loves his kids with everything he's got, and he puffs up proudly while laughing at their antics.
The first thought that I had was that this is parenting to emulate. The family seemed tight, happy, accomplished and encouraged. This is the kind of parent I hope I can be. When they told me one of the kids was a racer, I immediately thought of the dangers of the sport, and asked myself if I would be able to let go of my own personal fear in able to be able to encourage my kids if that's the path that they choose. Could I, like Bode Miller's parents, stand on the side and watch Ethan or Bodhi ride a fence line, possibly into a horrific crash? Could I, like Mike Hickey's parents, watch him and his friends ski off the roof of the bar because, hey, there's powder up there? Can I learn to be like Weems and just be proud of the passion my kids have, and encourage it, smiling? I hope so.
The next day, Weems and Squatty left for Aspen, and called to leave me a good luck message. Later that day, Saquatty called to tell me that Wallace Westfeldt, one of Wemms boys, had died in a skiing accident while filming a movie for the Aspen Skiing Company.
No words can even express the devistation his family must be feeling. A parent should never have to outlive thier children.
Weems, I just want to tell you that in the few days I got to meet you, I felt an enormous fondness for you and an incredible amount of love and support from you. Your boys are so lucky to have a father like you, and all I can think is how tremendously happy Wallace must have been in his life to feel the love and support and enthusiasm that lives inside you. All my love and thoughts are with you and your family.