He shook the snow from his gloves and asked me if I remembered the year we had so much snow the path was twice as tall as Catherine. I did- it was the winter when snow tumbled from the heavens daily. It was the winter when I’d zip up her coat and kiss her nose signaling she was ready to set out to conquer the freshly fallen snow. They’d start at the front door and shovel a path making the yard a labyrinth for which they only knew the way out. Cold air had snuck in behind my brave one and swept over me, jolting me out of a time and place of which we are all captivated.
For a period, “before Catherine died” qualified every memory, marking a time and place of which we desperately clung. We no longer include the disclaimer and understand we will always live in two parallel universes: the now and when Catherine walked this earth with us. The memories and lessons she left me with are branded on my heart and have become a place I go for comfort, strength and simple reminders of how to live.
The winter my brave one spoke of was the winter storm after storm piled snow on high on the ground. Each storm, an added weight on my shoulders, left me yearning for a simple sign of spring and desperate for an answer to when it would be over. While I was focused on when it would end, my little one delighted in what it brought. She’d see a new layer of snow as a blank template for the adventure for which she and my brave one would embark. At the end of the day she’d belly laugh when she’d sit at the dinner table in her PJs wondering had I’d realized she never changed her clothes.
In embracing in each season- delighting in its innate beauty and not casting cares on its length, my little one taught me an important lesson. Although there are days I begin to worry or doubt, I am reminded in the simplicity of falling snow- in its quiet serenity- there is a season for everything. While I may never understand or know the reason or how long it will last, I focus on the beauty this day brings- knowing that is what Catherine would want.