Snow Day

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“Do you want to build a snowman?”

Sitting quietly on the couch, Cade gazed out the window.

Sadly I watched as he missed out on the winter fun.  “I am sure he would love to build a snowman,” I thought to myself.  Unfortunately, the barometric pressure changes that accompany snow days are no fun for Cade.  Cloudy, rainy and snowy days have become migraine triggers for him.

He continued his gaze as the children slid down hill.  How I wished he would go outside and play with me.  I miss the days of Cade and I playing in the snow.  We would run around the yard without a care in the world.  You’d swear it was the Fourth of July.  The Fourth of July with a snow ball fight, what’s better than that?

I hate watching him suffer.  He’s my best buddy.  “Do you want to build a snowman?” Again I asked.  His pale complexion and tired eyes told me otherwise.

December was rough.  It was a month filled with rain.  Like the weather, Cade spent most days gray and dreary.  Then there were those cherished days in between.  The smile on Cade’s face said it all.  It was as though he became alive in the sunlight.  The clear Carolina blue skies brought hope.  Free from pain, he was eager to get out and appreciate life.  As a parent, I long for these days.

I long for the day when he can live without chronic pain.  It hurts thinking that on top of all his set backs he has to be in pain as well.  There is a solution somewhere out there and one day we will find it.  Until then we’ll keep embracing the good days and powering through the rest.  Although Cade has many challenges, I’ve learned to count my blessings.  I know there are others that have it much worse.

I also know others that take far too much for granted.  These are parents that I am referring to.  Having a child requires sacrifice.  Having a child with disabilities requires greater sacrifice.  Things once important to you become insignificant.  Money gets sacrificed.  Social lives get sacrificed.  Careers get sacrificed.  I would sacrifice life iteself for my son.  Therefore, it pains me to hear a parent complain about sacrificing ‘time’ for their child.  Especially their over achieving child.  I know the commitment of driving the kid to soccer, football, baseball and basketball can get challenging.  Especially when you’ve just returned from his national science fair.  It’s stressful.  I get it.  I just wiped my eighteen year old son’s ass so the leather seats in your BMW aren’t too funky when we arrive at your boy’s game.  Thanks for the ride.

So, here we are in January.  A new year is upon us.  With a new year comes new promise.  I look forward to the progress we can make this year.  Reflecting back on this past year there were many dark days.  In this darkness we found strength.  Somehow we found strength.  I just don’t have the strength to watch my son look gloomily out the window any longer.  Layered up, I headed out into this winter wonderland.  The glistening blanket of white gave way to my heavy foot steps.  Like an explorer I searched.  Much of the snow had become icy from melting and refreezing.  I continued searching.  The ground cracked as I paced the yard.  I stopped for a moment to take in the beauty.  Growing up in southern Louisiana there was always something magical in the snow.  “How magnificent,” I thought as I admired the scenery.  My other thought was, “Damn! My feet are cold in these slippers.”  Slowly I turned to make my way back and there it was.  A mound of the white stuff was left piled in the shadows of the shrubbery.  And it was still soft and fluffy.  With my bucket full I marched back into the house.

The crackling of the fireplace was relaxing.  With my warm smile and cold feet I sat next to Cade on the couch.

“Hey buddy,” I handed him my bucket of snow.  “Do you want to build a snowman?”

Kelly Jude Melerine