Last night as the sun was setting I went out to clear off my car. It was 40 degrees outside, so I decided to go for a walk. I was never that good at building snowmen, but this was good packing snow, so I picked some up as I walked and made a snowball. It was so smooth and cold, it felt like marble. I tossed it up and down in my hand like a tennis ball as I walked, thinking about playing in the snow as a kid. I thought about my dad, who died three years ago today. What was going on in the world then…it was a couple of months after the earthquake in Haiti, a month before the big BP oil spill. In some ways it feels longer ago; in other ways it doesn’t seem like it’s been three years ago. I read an article in a women’s magazine in the gym a few days ago about a woman who had a massive stroke at the age of 41. Amazingly, she survived and got better with only a few minor ill effects. But for months she had to move back in with her parents. I paused on the exercise bike, wondering uneasily what I would do if that happened to me? When we were little, on Valentine’s Day my sister and I would wake up to piles of gifts and Whitman’s chocolates covering the dining room table – from the “Valentine frog,” my parents always said with a wink. Santa and the Easter Bunny had us fooled for a long time, but we always knew the Valentine Frog was my dad. One time my sister spilled her entire box of Whitman’s all over the floor, and my dad drove to four different stores until he finally found one that had a box left for her.
Wherever he and Mom were, that was home.