Chapter One

Over You

Opus 1 From Life Song

I am inspired by the lyrics chosen throughout the story of Life Song to reflect my mood or feeling. We all love music and my hope is someday you will share your Life Song with me. Ok here we go…

Over You

Another day finished at Lincoln Elementary, and as I was trudging along the snow packed sidewalks heading  home, thoughts pondered my mind about the big game of hockey that I was about to play at Podvin Park in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. This is hockey country and today I’m going to invite some of my imaginary superstar players to be present for a quick Stanley Cup playoff game. Whom would I invite to join me today, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, and Derek Sanderson? This is a momentous day school is out, and tough decisions need to be made before I get to the rink. It was this day February 6th, 1970 that my world would be shaken, shattered, and feelings of guilt that would overpower my life even to this day.

Just a couple more blocks to go, three to be exact, I notice my mom and brother coming down the road in that familiar 68 blue Chevy Impala. She slowly stops the car in the road to tell me after she drops Mark off at the high school for hockey practice, she is going to pick up some items for supper at the grocery store and then she will be home for dinner. “I love you Matty” she said, to my reply of “I love you too mom.”

This would be the last time I would see my mom, two days later she was found brutally murdered, beaten massively with a tire iron lying in a ditch in the State of Wyoming. A passing truck driver found her on Highway 80 approximately 18 miles east of Cheyenne, Wyoming. According to the State of Wyoming Coroner’s office, she suffered terribly before dying as they found her scalp and hair particles buried deep underneath her fingernails.

This book is written in memory of my mom

Eunice Fern Boyd Apr 25, 1937 – Feb 6, 1970

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

Carpenters – Close to You (1970)


Two months to go before Pikes Peak Marathon and one of the greatest moments in my life has occurred. The anticipation is driving me crazy as I travel across the western plains through South Dakota. Miracles are part of our everyday lives in our world and most often we miss the obvious. This one blatantly stares me square in the face as I am about to see my new grandson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I wanted to leave a week, and a half earlier with my wife Penny but work demands and lack of vacation created a slight set back. I love traveling on the road it allows the mind to wander to places that only the quietness of the mountain trails can compare. I have been blessed with a great family starting with my wife Penny, son Branden, and daughter Ferneda (Fern) and son in law Luke. The newest addition of August Matthew Lucas Byker is another highlight added to the many I have experienced in a lifetime of great endeavors.

Upon my arrival into Colorado Springs, I glance over at the towering pristine mountain and thoughts of conquering another 14er flush my whole being with excitement. First things first I need to see the newest addition to our family and welcome him into our world.

Ultra races can be very demanding on the body, and can be extremely enlightening to the spirit. It’s a love-love relationship and those who have ever endured these ultimate challenges know exactly what I am talking about.  I love this sport but now the way my right foot has been not cooperating with the sport.

After the mountain marathon, a rest will be in order to get this body of mine ready for a little grandson who will give me a whole new perspective on life.  Speaking of  my little bundle, I arrived at Luke and Ferns home, gave Pen a kiss and my little buddy greeted me with a I think I love this guy look and wet his diaper so much that it ran out and all over his grandpa! My life is great and this little gift makes it all the better.

Two months later the mountain challenged me and all the other racers to a dual. I wasn’t about to give in to her innocence of destruction. My nerves were shattered at the starting line as we had a stare down. She was so beautiful this morning staring down at all of us as to say I’m ready for you; I hope you are prepared for me.

Training for six months on the trails and on my Step Master was too much for my right foot. Something happened, and the pain was unnerving. I stopped all training about forty five days prior to the race in hopes my foot would heal.

The national anthem played and off onto the beauty of the mountain trails we went. The crowds cheered on our way to the Barr Trail. The trail awaits my arrival for a day of memories and majestic moments with my creator. This trail is one of my favorites. I have spent many hours out here writing this book.

Pikes Peak can create more unpredictable and rapid weather changes than any other race that I have previously entered. If there is one thing I know about running in the mountains, you need to respect them, or they will eat you up and spit you out faster than a sprint car at the Indy 500. Most people that I talked to just shook their heads and offered their encouraging words of good luck when I shared with them that I signed up for the 2012 running of the Pikes Peak Marathon. They look at me as if I were totally out of my mind. The temperatures may vary as much as fifty degrees between Manitou Springs where the race starts and ends, and the upper parts of the mountain. Those who ran in recent years can attest that it can be downright nasty—particularly above tree line. There had been years when hundreds of runners had been stranded on the summit when storms hit the mountain without warning!

Today she was good to all of us, after a few bouts of altitude sickness above tree line, and finally getting back down below 10, 000 feet my race was back. I actually finished faster than I had predicted prior to me paying homage to the mountain gods and leaving all my breakfast on the summit. I love this mountain I will miss her, but the memories of Colorado Springs will remain in my heart forever. Welcome little grandson! Grandpa can’t wait to tear up the trails with you in a couple of years.


Yes! Home at last! Put your books somewhere, anywhere! Get your skates, don’t forget your puck, come on Matty we’ve got a game to play! Run to the hockey rink, oh yeah free as a bird let’s go time’s burning, the game is about to start! OK I made it to the eight foot by eight foot warming house! Come on get your skates on Matty it’s time to hit the ice! 

Ladies and gentleman now entering the ice along with the World Champion Boston Bruins, The leader and captain of the team MAAAAAAAAAAATT KRAAAAATOCHVIL! The cheers ring in my head just like they did the last game I’m pumped, I’m stoked it’s time to drop the puck. Kratochvil to Sanderson back to Orr, Esposito is right where he should be in front of the net, Orr to Kratochvil, Kratochvil shoots, He SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORR

RRRRRRRRRRRRES! Sticks go flying, the crowd erupts, and it’s over! It’s over! The Boston Bruins are the World Champions again led by the swift play of Kratochvil!
For this seven and a half year old, life is good how else can I put it as I walk back home after winning the biggest game in hockey along with the greatest players. Weather has never been a factor playing these games at the park. Just showing up at the rink with my imaginary friends was a blast! Whether it was -20 degrees below zero or 30 degrees above I love playing this game and enjoy watching hockey on TV every chance I get! What an extraordinary life… I wouldn’t change a thing! Upon arriving at home, I proceed to take off my jacket and boots. It’s time to relax and watch Gomer Pyle on our little black and white TV.

Podvin Park-Where dreams became reality!

The NHL started every day after school as my imagination played with and against some of the biggest stars in the league. (The age of innocence taken away by selfish actions of evil)
Everyone is finally arriving home for the day. I’m a little hungry, and I am craving some Twinkies to snack on, I hope mom picked some up?  Where is she?  She just said she was going to the store she should be home by now I’m a little hungry after the big win. Oh I love the sergeant he is always giving Gomer a hard time, but I believe deep down they are friends. My dad is crying! What! I’ve never seen him cry! He has a letter in his hand this is serious! I wanted to leave, but my once strong Lord Stanley legs that just won the world championship weigh like cement, I can’t move! I have this feeling I need to get up now as my dad sits next to me and starts to read a letter from mom.

Weatherman said it’s gonna snow
By now I should be used to the cold
Mid-February shouldn’t be so scary
It was only December, I still remember
The presents, the trees, you and me

But you went away
How dare you
I miss you
They say I’ll be ok
But I’m not going to ever get over you

Living alone here in this place
I think of you and I’m not afraid
Your favorite records make me feel better
Cause you sing along with every song
I know you didn’t mean to give them to me

But you went away
How dare you
I miss you
They say I’ll be ok
But I’m not going to ever get over you

It really sinks in, you know, when I see it in stone
Cause you went away
How dare you
I miss you
They say I’ll be ok
But I’m not going to ever get over you

Over You: Blake Shelton – Miranda Lambert (2012)

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