I love snow; the silence as it falls from the sky and that brief period of time when its beauty is untouched. As a kid, and even as an adult, I have known the disappointment of a snowfall that never occurred. It wasn’t the day off of school I wanted – it was the snow. And as many times I have been let down by a menial accumulation, or a forecast that brought anything but snowfall, a gratefulness was cultivated within me for what I desired, in those moments of accepting what I had been given.
Five years ago, in room 10205, friends, family, and medical staff gathered around Jaime and I as we renewed our wedding vows. Seven days prior, the news had come that Jaime’s cancer had spread and the doctors’ recommendation was rest and time with family. For sometime, Jaime and I had discussed a vow renewal, once her treatments were over. The beach event was to take place in May of 2013. However, November 19 came and, while treatment was indeed over, we weren’t going to the beach that morning. So, there we all were, crowded in to room 10205, pink and teal everywhere. I can’t remember much of what the pastor said, but I do recall the feeling of overwhelming love for Jaime and at the same time a deep sadness that we were reaffirming our commitment to one another—this time more aware of the meaning behind each word and the reality that this part of our story was coming to an end.
In remembering that special moment, I can share that the passing of time and my imperfect faith have cultivated a deeper sense of gratefulness. Much like my love for snow, it is a gratefulness for what I was so blessed to have, the wonderful memories I still have, and the life I have been given to live and share with Felicity and others. And that gratefulness is an acceptance of what is –God’s sustained faithfulness and goodness—its silence and untouched beauty.
“There will come a time when you will go by a field you both love, or see a flower or smell a fragrance or hear a song or look at the way someone walks and it will all come rushing back to you. But somewhere down the line, and God knows when, You realize it doesn’t make you cry. It makes you smile. The time will come when the memory will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. That will happen. And when it does you will know you have turned the corner.”
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden, “Promise Me, Dad”