The Ed Reinink Memorial Ski Trip

We were on our way to the airport for a ski vacation to the Alps a couple weeks ago when I got the call that my dad had been referred to hospice. We re-routed our trip to Florida to be with him and my mom.

The man who taught me to ski, to make a perfect pie crust and to parallel park; who helped me learn the meaning of hard work and who helped engineer my high-school senior prank; who instilled in me a love of the outdoors, reggae and lobster bisque; passed away in HPH Hospice on March 9 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He took his last, peaceful breath while watching a Warren Miller movie, with Steve on one side of his bed and me on the other, holding his hand.

There’s so much to say about how tough my dad was, hanging onto life by a thread for eight days after the doctors told us that continuing to administer nutrition with a feeding tube was prolonging and worsening his discomfort. There’s a lot to say, too, about how he never pitied himself or complained during an illness- and pain-ridden past four years. I could write volumes about his incredible traits—his healthy sense of mischief (he helped engineer my senior prank), his sense of humor, his easygoing confidence, his kind, nonjudgemental manner. Somewhere in my brain, there’s an essay about what I’ve learned from skiing in my dad’s tracks over the years. There will be time for this down the road.

I’m writing this from a sunny porch in suburban Denver, where I’m spending the afternoon with some coffee, my laptop, a good book and some breathing room. Why Denver? Because once we’d done all there was to do in Florida, we realized we still had five days before we were due back home. We asked ourselves: What would my dad do with this time? Fly to Denver from Tampa for a memorial ski trip, of course. Tomorrow, we’ll head to Arapahoe Basin, and the next day, to Steamboat. We will attempt to ski in my dad’s spirit, which I hope will lead to living in his spirit in the years to come.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The Ed Reinink Memorial Ski Trip

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. We are dealing with something very similar in my family…always kind of expecting that phone call is so hard. He sounds like a remarkable man. May he rest in peace.

  2. Ann

    Amy, I am so sorry to hear this. I am so glad you were able to be with him at the end. And your living life in his spirit? I don’t doubt it.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your dad passing! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It sounds like you are handling it well, but don’t be afraid to breakdown either. We are here for you! Have a great time skiing and honoring your great dad 🙂

  4. amy

    Still thinking of you guys. It sounds like there is no more perfect memorial than this ski trip!

  5. Amy, I know that your dad must have been the wonderful man you talk about because you are a product of that and his work shows. Much love to your family as you celebrate his life.

  6. Amy, I’ve no doubt his spirit will be with you on this trip. You’ve planned a wonderful tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss and am thinking of you.

  7. My condolences sending your way, Amy.

  8. Wonderful tribute to Ed – your version of grieving by celebrating his life is awesome!

  9. Hi Amy, my thoughts are with you and I am sure you have made your father proud.

  10. Heather C

    Oh, Amy – I am so sorry for your loss. Just catching up over here, and there are quite a few changes you’ve gone through in a short time! My heart goes out to you. xoxo

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