So many people are cursing this winter weather,
myself included. My friends in New England have feet of snow, not inches. FEET!
Seventeen years ago I was with my best friend Rose.
She was in her final days, dying of cancer, wishing she could survive long
enough to celebrate one more Christmas, her favorite time of year.
On a cold, overcast November day, with no chance of
any precipitation in the weather forecast, we dunked donuts at her kitchen
table. Then she laid down to rest.
I walked around her home gazing at her decorative
wall groupings. She'd loved having friends over and hosting Home Interior
Parties. As I looked at the displays, I remembered us young. I walked past her
Grandfather clock, and as it chimed, I realized how fast time was ticking for
I walked to the sofa and sat in reflective prayer,
questioning, wondering, pleading. And then, two miracles happened. A ray of
sunshine burst through a cloud and shone through her window and refracted off
her crystal chandelier, splaying rainbows all around her dining room.
I rushed to wake her. "I have a surprise for
you. Come see." I helped her shuffle, step by step to the dining room. It
took a few minutes, and I hoped and prayed that sunbeam would stay till she
could see the glorious colors. She smiled and laughed weakly as those rainbows
bounced all over her nightgown. She tried to capture them in her hands, a smile
on her face. Then the cloud cover returned, the rainbows disappeared, and the
I helped Rose inch her way to the couch in the
living room dragging fifty feet of oxygen hose behind her. As we sat, lost in
our own thoughts, her oxygen tank pumping overtime, I parted the drapes behind
the sofa and gazed out the picture window. I could not believe my eyes. Huge,
hamster-size snowflakes were drifting to the ground covering the yard in a blanket of soft white. I helped Rose
reposition herself so she could see out, which required major effort on her
part. But oh what a reward. Silent tears rolled down our cheeks.
I talked to her about the snowfalls when our kids
were young and we were neighbors. I reminisced about sledding, building forts
and igloos in the backyard, our dogs romping in the snow. "This is your
gift," I told her. We sat in silent reverence for fifteen minutes, then I
helped get her back to bed.
Rose did not live to see another Christmas, but
together she and I witnessed her last snowfall.
Above those wintry, frustrating snow clouds, I
realized as Rose slept, there was hope... hope everlasting.