Dearest Rachel –
Readers’ Digest was fond of saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ but this story from the regular feature of that name, like most medicines, comes off rather bitter these days. The story goes that an older gentleman was looking out over his snow-covered driveway, and turned to his teenage son to ask him for his help.
“Your old Dad is not in the best of shape, Son, and if I exert myself too much, I might just suffer a heart attack. Could you go out and shovel the driveway for me?”
“Why, sure, Dad. No problem.”
Shocked as he was by his son’s immediate agreement, the old man suffered a heart attack and died.
Somehow, it would stand to reason that it would snow on the anniversary of your death. For all I know, it will probably snow every single year on this day, until such time as I finally bite the bullet and move down to somewhere where the snow is much less common – or Greta Thunberg proves to be right, and we’ll never see snow again, and I can hardly wait for that day to come.
The snow broke my heart a year ago, when it took you away from me (yes, I know you hit a tree, but it was because of the snow that you were sledding down that hill in the first place). Meanwhile, every time I have to dig myself out, I can sense age and wear creeping up on me, even though at the moment, I’m still strong enough to not suffer too many effects yet. One day, if I’m not careful, this stuff will literally break my heart one last time.
“But what about the snow thrower?” you might ask. Well, about that…
I honestly don’t know if it was a case of not having enough gas, or it being too dark for me to see the switches, but I could not get it to work. I admit to not having much gas, either in the tank, or on hand one of those little jerry cans. But even when I added what little I had, I could not find the choke, or if I did, it didn’t matter. Every time I pulled on the ripcord, nothing happened. I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but I was clearly doing something wrong. And I was wasting time. So I finally resorted to shoveling out the main driveway, which at least will allow Daniel a clear path to drive your car through it and out into the street. I’m going to trust the tires and traction on my car to get me through the half arc that I didn’t shovel in time.
And if you’re wondering about Daniel, and the whole joke that I started with, I have to cut him some slack. It’s not like I woke up intending to shovel; I expected to simply plow through it, in any event. But it so happened that I woke up half an hour before I’d set my alarm, so I had some time to work with. Expecting him to wake up at six in the morning and join me out there – when I hadn’t even expected that of myself – would be decidedly unfair of me.
Besides, the snow is hard enough to throw as it is, and dealing with it today of all days just compounds matters. I don’t need the shock of him joining me out there just yet. My heart can only take so much at once, honey, and I assume I’ve been given the extra time for a reason. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet, and I need to stick around until I do.
Until then, honey, wish me luck. I’m going to need it.