Sunday, April 17, 2016
Spring has sprung and with it comes all kinds of new “hellos” from you. The season of robins and brown bunnies, budding trees and tulips, open windows and shoes without socks, raking the grass of remnants of last fall after a winter season of snow and the excitement of putting out the patio furniture… its just gotta be Spring. But, wait… It can’t be spring until I have my picnic lunch with you and Dad up at your memorial rock in Fernie. Then it will be spring.
Last weekend your favourite mountain closed for the ski season and on the Friday, Dad and I had our picnic with you under a cloudless sky on the bluest of bluebird days. It was my first visit to the rock since last summer and a day I’d been longing for for some time. Because I’m not able to ski with my hurting knees, Dad made arrangements for one of the ski patrollers to give me a lift up to your magical place on a snowmobile. I believe there’s nothing that the Resort wouldn’t do for you and us; time and time again they’ve gone above and beyond any expectation we could have ever had and we are ever grateful. A “thank you” never seems enough.
Each time I meet someone affiliated with the Resort they seem to already know you and, well, it happened again. The patroller who gave me the lift told me that when he was training as a groomer three years ago he was taken to your rock late one night while in the snow cat. It was there that he learned your story and about your passion for skiing and for Fernie. He expressed how sorry he was to hear about your tragic passing and told me that you’re like a legend, Will; a little, blue-eyed legend. It’s not every day that someone gets to be remembered like that!
Dad and I sat with you at the base of your rock and had our lunch. We shared some quiet conversation and some “remember whens” and some silence too. During our silence I ran my fingers over the face of your rock feeling the etching of every letter of every word that we so carefully chose to have engraved on it. In my silence came flashbacks of happy times with you and then sadness for what will never be. And then a reminder of why we chose a memorial rock – a rock is forever, Will, and so are you.
Now it is spring and now I can focus on all the little hellos that you are sending my way; the robins and the brown bunnies, the budding trees and the tulips, open windows and shoes without socks…
I miss you, Willy, and I love you. Like a bus full of robins and brown bunnies and a big, beautiful forever rock.