It is the calm before the storm here in St. Louis today. My husband checked with our ‘Forecaster’ son to see how bad it would be and what to expect. “Not good,” our son said, adding the words, “freezing rain” to “ice and snow.”
Off shopping we went for a few bags of ice to melt our walkways and such. Fathers emptied carts filled to the brim with gallons of milk, loaves of bread, and six-packs of “SpaghettiOs.” They hoped to keep their healthy children fed for the next few days or so. Frazzled mothers walked closely behind, holding preschooler’s chubby fists who grabbed candy and gum to the right of the check-out. A spoonful of sugar in Crayola color.
No one smiled or said, “Hello.” Some were rude, others were not in a good mood. Preparing for an ice storm on the first Saturday in March was the last thing people wanted to do. In like a lion, out like a lamb….
Still, the couples reminded me of how lucky they were with their whiny children in tow. Although inconvenienced a bit, their children appeared pudgy and pink. Perfect pictures of health, I would think. You see it was twenty-two years ago today that my ‘Forecaster’ son was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes.
On that Saturday morning, I woke up just like the wanderers in the store pushing carts on the floor. Ironically, it wasn’t the first day of March. Instead, it was February 29th. Leap Year. Like any mother, that dawn of my life is part of me, like an eyelash when I blink.
Oh, to have been lucky enough to be shopping in a store with my sons on that day! To have hunkered down by the fireplace sipping hot chocolate in shaded paper cups waiting for an ice storm to safely tuck us in. To have been reading story books by the firelight that night instead of praying by the side of a hospital bed for God to save my little son.
I have been blessed throughout my years on many days, in many ways. An ice storm means nothing in the grand scheme of Saturdays. Play a game, turn off the phone, and kiss your sweet child in the softness of candlelight. Anyone who has good health has everything. Thank God, and stay inside while you enjoy the storm in the quiet of this gift we call tonight.