Monday, December 9, 2013

Grandpop's Snowstorm

This will be the last of the sad-sack posts. I promise.

We grope for meaning, don't we? Maybe that's okay. Maybe that is necessary. And maybe it is better than logic.

Sometimes we consciously delude ourselves. Sometimes we truly believe in things that have no explanation. Sometimes we lie to our children, because they need it. Sometimes, these things intersect and science and fact and circumstance give us help in turning delusion into belief.

As of some time on Friday, the local scuttlebutt was that, on Sunday, there was going to be snow coming. Nothing significant. In fact, it was most likely going to miss us altogether.

We said our last goodbyes to my father on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, the snow began to fall -- small flakes that reminded me instantly of my dad having told me, as a child, that if the flakes were small, the snow was going to fall for a long time; when the flakes get big, he always asserted, it was about to stop.

I don't know what scientific fact (if any) lies behind this, but experience has always seemed to bear my dad's wisdom out, as far as I can tell.

I told my snow-happy sons: "Don't get too excited. It's not supposed to amount to much." (After all, what was I going to trust, the folk wisdom of a deceased musician or the final analysis of a professional meteorologist with computers and software?)

It soon became apparent that, at least in this case, Dad had been right. We wound up getting what looked like, to me, about ten inches of snow.

That night, I watched the news and our local weather guru expressed her surprise. It was a "freak" of a storm. It never should have happened, she said. All of the data indicated that it should have missed us completely or that it should have amounted to nothing more than a little rain.

Nevertheless, there it was: a thick, silent, gently deafening blanket of snow that nearly shut down the Delaware Valley for several hours.

So what did I say to my boys? You guessed it: "Well, fellas. I guess Grandpop pulled some strings up there for you and sent you a snowstorm, day after his funeral." They smiled the smiles of children, which might just be the richest reward in this mortal life.

Was I fibbing? Was I right? Both? I like the way the circumstantial evidence points and I like the way my children's eyes point to heaven as a result, so, I'm good, either way.

Thanks for the snow, Dad.


  1. My sympathies on the loss of your father, Chris.

  2. There are some real pleasures in the simplest connections. I hope you continue to look on snow fondly.

    My condolences, Mr. Matt.

    ~ Matt

    1. Thanks very much, Matt. I will always look on snow fondly...

  3. When there remains a patch of old snow, let it instead be a special reminder. We get snow often in Toronto, but several friends of mine told me of the mass snowfall. I'll think of this in the following weeks, I'm sure.

    Thank you for the beautiful posts thus far Chris, and I'm sorry for your loss.