A first snow. The spirit the same. The impact of each -- unforgettable.
In recent months she liked waking me up. She would claim a need for ice water, or the remote had dropped to the floor. I knew she just needed company. We would sit together and chat. Mainly reminisce. She would recall our car trips to and from Racine, when my mother was still alive. 30 in all. 3 a year for all 10 years of our marriage.
The first giant flakes of memories begin to float from a pearl grey wet sky. She would state her dreams, knowing full well in her soul, that these were not to be. Places we might still see, and people with who we would reconnect. She would admonish me not to give up hope. She would instruct me on the basic tenets of her faith. God would not let her down.
The flakes grow faster now. They are smaller but more fierce, and the ground is coated in a crisp clean white sheet of snow. She would ask me if, in spite of “it” all, if I was happy we had married. I would offer her all the assurance I could muster, but it was never enough. She so wanted to be my perfect wife.
The snow outside is beginning to whip, and there are Carvel cone tops to many of the drifts. The sun is out. The light wincing bright. It will be gorgeous when it stops. The whole world like the hide of a zebra.
I tell her of her incredible presence. How many lives she touched with her gracious and grateful spirit. I recite the names of the youths she has showered with affirmation and affection. I affirm her impact on her grandchildren, and her own children, and mine. How much love they have known because of her, and what a magnificent mentor she has been in the art of loving. She smiles and she weeps.
The snow is settling. The flakes have grown large again. There is a pink glow flirting with the horizon. She says we need a hot cup of coffee, and toast. I fetch. We gaze out the window and wait. The light will bring this first snow to life. All is still. All is calm. An all is so very very bright.
She tells me I had better not forget to kiss her before heading for work. I tell her I will stay home for the morning. She is delighted. Like we are skipping school together. We both fantasize like children. Sledding. Snowballs. Skating. Hot chocolate. We enter the state of heaven.
I raise the blinds. Everything carries a wet load of snow. The trees and bushes droop. The sunlight sparkles and pirouettes along the crust of snow outside our window. It looks as though it will last forever. But, like Patty, its time will be short and sweet.
Patty says, “How on earth can anyone not believe, and behold all this beauty?”
I have no idea.
The sun has created drips and drops from the eaves, and soon it will be a tiny torrent. The magic will be over by noon. I savor my coffee, as I savor this moment with my wife. This woman who blanketed my life with such cozy warmth and fondness and love. My adoring fan. My advocate. My soul sharer. Patty.
A first snow. They have come and gone in my life. Too fast. Too brief. But, the feel of them. The awe inspired. That is etched upon my heart. That has entered a heaven of timelessness and beauty. When there was and is a peace which passes all understanding. A knowing the unknown. The embrace of the certainty of uncertainty. The march of days.
Once a year it comes. A first snow. Bringing healing hope to the mud cracked earth. The brownish grey all exit on command. There before us is a clean slate. A field of unconditional love. The promise of God. The hope of every tomorrow. Right there. Before our eyes.
We will choose not to walk across this crystalline plain. We shall not dare to mar its surface. We simply stand and stare. We are still. We know that God is indeed God. We are not. We are finally fine with that, and we wisely wave the white flag of surrender. All is ahhhhh.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.