What Roaring River means to me

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Photo by Kerry Hays/Missouri State Parks First tag Kayla Clancy received Roaring River State Park's first youth tag for the 2013 catch-and-keep season. Clancy, who also received a rod and reel and other prizes, submitted this year's winning essay in order to earn the first tag honors. She is pictured above with Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager.

What does Roaring River mean to me? Many times, people don't appreciate things until they are lost. Other times, we forget them even more after they are gone. Me, I try to hang on to my past memories.

My mom passed away on Oct. 4, 2012. It was about two weeks after my 13th birthday. She had stage IV breast cancer, and later, that spread to her liver. One place that my mom and I went to spend time together was the movies, but other times it was Roaring River.

Many people don't want to remember but I do. I like to daydream about the good times we had. When I do, I think of the times we were hiking or swimming. One of the good memories I have is one summer she had some time off from work so she came and got me from home to take me to Roaring River for a girl's day out.

The air was warm. The air also had a cool touch from the water. The trees were a bright green. It was probably about 90 degrees or a bit higher. I'm pretty sure we walked up Deer Leap Trail but I'm not for certain. It was a good day at least for us.

Now every time I go there, I cry. Even though I do, I'm happy because they are joyful tears. They are the type where you can smile as you cry.

So maybe it's just me, but I love going to Roaring River to remember. To remind me of the good times because even though it might hurt, I love to go there to be with my family before the end of our time.

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