Over the weekend, during one of Kentucky’s coldest winters, when snowfall threatened to cancel our plans, my family incorporated the U.S. postal service’s creed with gusto. We donned boots, coats, and scarves, all united in one mission: to make Gram’s 84th birthday a success!
Six adults, one child, and one dog piled into two trucks and one SUV, determined to surprise Gram who expected us all to call with regrets.
Opting out of toting hot crockpots full of food through the miles of ice and snow, I found alternatives en route. Pick-2 soup/sandwiches from Panera and a Dairy Queen Reese’s Cup ice cream cake drizzled in chocolate supplied a fun change of pace from homemade fare.
Long story short – everyone made the trek safely and dreary winter spirits were lifted as we exchanged stories around Gram’s table. She smiled, approved of her gifts, and invited us to stay awhile.
My newest son-in-law from Louisiana, who is fascinated by Kentucky snows, suggested we make a snowman in Gram’s honor. Soon after he threw down the icy gauntlet, a snowman stood erect in my mother’s backyard. The three sections of the snowman’s body were rolled into large, bulky snowballs of almost the same size. The male ego – an intriguing subject.
From the kitchen window, Gram and I watched with delight as the snowy conditions continued to bring out the child in each of my two daughters, their husbands, and my own husband. Snowballs were lobbed into the air and the merriment continued until… an errant snowball fell flat on my almost two-year-old grandson’s face – the only exposed part of him not bundled in winter gear.
In shock, and barely able to move in all of his extensive winter gear, the unsuspecting, red-cheeked cherub wailed for help. In response to his cries, the adrenaline belonging to me, a new grandmother, unexpectedly coursed through my veins. The next few seconds were a blur as I ran down two flights of steps, out the door, and into the snow like a superhero to swoop the child up in my arms. In retrospect, I will never understand how I made it to him before his mother, an avid runner.
The others gathered silently behind me as I took him inside and patted his tiny face with a cloth while checking for damages. Thankfully, there were none. I wrapped my arms around him and assured him that he was alright. His crying stopped and he smiled up at me. I smiled back at him. Words weren’t necessary. That is when it struck me boldly in the face, like an icy snowball, it is through the difficult times that the eternal bond of love is forged like steel to withstand the test of time.