The snow fell today, just for a bit blowing and dancing in the wind. It was beautiful. I took a group of my students out into the snow and was reminded of what childlike wonder looks like. Their enthusiastic voices carried me back to when my kids were young. They used to run and play as the flakes came down, hoping for them to stick, and praying for a snow day.
Funny how the little things can trigger memories deep…this would have been Louise’s favorite kind of snow, enough to create giggles from the kids but not enough to stick to the ground. Maybe it’s because today is her birthday that I found myself wishing she were here to play in the fluffy cloudburst. So full of enthusiasm and love of life she would have been outside with my students teaching them to catch snowflakes on their tongues. It was her way to be childlike in her zest for life. Winter was her most hated season, but you wouldn’t know that on snow days. She was out sledding the hill beside her house with boxes and trashcan lids with grandkids in tow. Building snowmen who came to life with her own scarves, putting out seed for the birds and heating hot chocolate for the kids to enjoy in front of the fire. I can picture her in a thousand ways today…all triggered by a few flakes this morning.
She was a mother-in-love to be sure, and while others I know complain about their mother-in-laws, I count myself blessed to have had someone who loved me as her own. No one could have prepared me for how much I would miss Louise. So much has changed without her here. You can never know how much a person influences their world or yours until they are gone. She was a spark, and without her, passion is missing from the more routine things. Days can be mundane and lifeless without a phone call or a drop in. And her hated winter seems as bleak as she always thought it was. Yet, I know that the warmth of the memories cannot be extinguished, no matter how lonely my heart is for a word from her. For that I am grateful, because picturing her laughing and rolling in the snow with my kiddos does my heart good on this day of her birth. I will celebrate the fact that her life touched mine in ways that shaped who I am. I will acknowledge that our lives are more empty without her, but this fact only serves to remind me of the fullness which she added to our days. There is a hole in my heart that is the shape of Louise’s smile and one day I believe she will meet me at the gate of heaven to show me around.