Because We’re A Forever Thing

DSC00069 copyWednesday, February 25, 2015

Dear Will,

I’ve been thinking that in the last little bit you’ve been a lot of places looking out for many that need a little more WillPower than usual. Gosh, the ones that I know about are many and the ones that you are watching over that I will never know must be countless. Maybe they beckoned you, maybe you were at the right place at the right time, and maybe you’ll never leave those who will need you always. That would be me, Will, because you and I are a forever thing.

I believe that you are on the mountains in Andorra and Japan with one of the bravest and most beautiful girls we know who has skied her way into competing on the world stage in junior freeskiing. Then there’s your cousin who needs you to help heal his badly broken leg (not to mention he’ll need you to help him eat all of the candy that Pa’s been giving him 1) to keep his spirits up, and 2) to keep him anchored ON the couch). I know you’re hanging around your special childhood friend who carries you always in her heart as she works through decisions on what comes after high school and the big question, “what the heck am I gonna do now?” Wait till you see her in her grad gown, Will… she’ll be the most beautiful girl in that big room. There’s also the freestyle twins who are never without their WillPower bands, your ski racing pal who takes you to all of his races, and your ski buddy who is nursing an injury he suffered while training.

I’m beginning to believe that the ski community that knew you and those who sadly didn’t but know about you now, take you with them each time they put on their skis. Be it freestyle comps or downhill races or just for the fun of it the WillPower you bring to each of them is a common thread. I am grateful too that you are sending a little extra WillPower to my dear friend who is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders as she moves through one of life’s biggest challenges. With you on one side and me on the other we can help her, Will. We can.

As busy as you are spreading about WillPower and watching over those that you care about I am ever grateful that you watch over me too. It is you who whispers in my ear “Mom, you can do this” when I’m not sure that I can. When I’m full of fraught you help me find perspective, you encourage me to look for the silver lining in life’s struggles and sometimes you tell me to crawl back under the covers for a little while. I know you’re behind my smile these days and that you’re never far away. Your footsteps are all over my heart and when I need you I just whisper your name and in you come with open arms and twinkling blue eyes, sometimes dancing or jumping and flipping, and always, always with a WillBilly smile.

I love you like a bus, Little Blue, and because you and I are a forever thing, I always will.

Momxo

And So Winter Begins…

My three boys loving the snow!

My three boys loving the snow!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

 

Holy Cow, Will!

 

You and the ski legends “upstairs” have been busy. After an October full of balmy temperatures and a Halloween that will go on record as one of the warmest in a handful of Halloweens, the big blanket of Willy that I am looking at this morning is another testament to your love for snow.

 

Friday night I was watching the neighbourhood kids in their Halloween costumes parade from door to door in their “skinny” costumes instead of the “fat” ones we’ve become accustomed to because of the snowsuits the little ones needed to wear underneath their costumes. No little roly-poly’s this year, no mittens or gloves or winter boots and no snow to trudge through. The streets were alive with kids and parents who were not in a hurry to get out of the cold and back into their homes unlike some of the bitter cold Halloweens I remember when you boys were younger.

 

snowmanThis morning is quite different. As the snow continues to fall the streets in our Community are quiet. It seems no one is rushing out of their homes… yet. It is still early and soon there will be a few who will venture out to begin to shovel their driveways. By mid morning I’m pretty sure our cul-de-sac will be full of kids in snow gear building snow forts and snowmen, piling snow to build jumps, and the “snow toys” that have been packed away since last winter will find themselves once again all over the yards of those with children. Until three years ago that was our house and if I could wish it all over again I would.

 

The season of winter coats and pants and wet socks begins. The season of lost mitts and constant reminders to put on warm winter boots is now here. The days of clean clothes being dumped from the dryer so the wet ones could be tossed in to dry while the kettle was boiling water for hot chocolate is about to begin. The front door mess of wet toques and mitts, of snow boots and jackets, and ski pants with one leg turned inside out while sometimes still attached to a snow boot is now a memory of winters past. And perhaps the sweetest memory of all was your rosy cheeks and crazy “toque-head” hair. Many a time, you’d adorn one sockless foot while the other sock looked like a snake because your foot was pulled from your snow boot while your sock somehow wanted to stay in there, your big boisterous voice full of excitement and your unforgettable BIG smile when you’d finally come inside from a building-then-playing session in the big snow. Will, these were the days that I will cherish always — the days I would give anything to have back. I’m sure you also remember my raised voice, the sound of my frustration at the mess that would accumulate at the front door. When I’d tell you to hang up your stuff, you and your brothers would say the same thing, “Mom, it doesn’t fit in the closet” or “Mom, what’s the use of putting it away when I’m gonna put it on again as soon as it’s dry.”  And so it seemed that the heap of wet jackets and clothing and all the extra stuff that became a part of the front entrance to our home somehow stayed there for the whole winter. Yup, those were the winters I will fondly remember, the gifts of ordinary winter days.

 

Will on the podium.jpgToday I imagine you up there with your BIG smile and boisterous yippees and yahoos making all that snow that wintertime brings with a big heavenly snow machine. I can visualize you wanting to dump bigger and bigger amounts upon us down here… though not for me per se, but for all the ski nuts like your dad and your brothers and your ski buddies who are anxious to begin a winter full of fun on skis and snowboards. Undoubtedly I will need to remind myself over and over, again and again, in the upcoming months of how much you loved the snow — a tactic I use to get through our winters down here without you. When watching the snow pile up appears nothing but a headache to me, I remind myself of how much you loved it and that can make me smile at all of it (for now).

 

Love you, Willy. Like a bus and a big heavenly snow machine.

 

 

 

Momxo

The Gift of a Photo

Friends Forever:  Calvin and Will at age 5

Friends Forever: Calvin and Will at age 5

October 27, 2013

 

 

Dear Will,

 

Last night Dad and I went to the Lovenuik’s for dinner.   Your winter ski bud and summer beach bud, Calvin, was there too, choosing a night at home instead of a night out with his friends.  It was really great to see him, Will… though I wished more than anything that you were with us and that you and Calvin could have been hanging out together like it just should be.  I remembered when the two of you first met – at the daycare at the base of the ski hill in Fernie — ski buddies before you even knew how to walk.  The two of you, only 3 weeks apart in age, became great friends seeing each other every weekend during the winter months in Fernie for almost all of your “much too short” life.   Winters full of dinners and play dates, swimming at the aquatic centre and building snow forts on the Lovenuik’s front lawn until you boys were frozen or wet or it was time to go home to bed.  On many of those weekends, you and Calvin would go from building a snow fort outside to building a nest in the linen closet inside where the two of you would sleep.  I find myself both smiling and shaking my head as I write this, wondering how the heck that could have been comfortable.  Then, in the same breath, I remember that for boys, “fun” seems to always trump “comfortable”.

 

As the two of you grew not much changed.  Sure, your little one piece ski suits became trendy ski jackets and cool pants, your skis got longer, your feet grew bigger, and building snow forts turned into building ski jumps.  You no longer needed your dads to take you swimming for you were old enough to go on your own, the Disney DVDs disappeared replaced by endless hours of watching ski movies over and over and over.  Your friendship circle grew too, encompassing more boys your age, all of them members of the Fernie Freestyle Ski Team; boys that became part of a world that you loved so much.  Ski movies, stickers, ski mags, toques, posters, park passes and helmet cams became the norm.  What never changed though and what I believe would still be true was how much the two of you enjoyed each other’s company and how much your friendship meant to one another.

 

Seeing Calvin last night and how much he has grown is another bittersweet for me.  (You’d love his hair, Will!)  But, what I will never forget is what he gave to Dad and I after dinner.  He’d come from his bedroom with a photograph (the one above); a photo of the two of you when you guys were about 5.   Two little boys, hamming it up for the camera and as I looked at it my heart went back to that time and to that happy place.  This photo is a treasure; a gift so precious; a gift that’s worth can only truly be understood by a parent who has lost a child.  Sadly, there are no recent photos of you, the last one taken the day before the accident.  Photos of your 12½ years, though they will never be enough, are all we have now and each time I see one that I haven’t seen before my heart wants to take a picture of it so it will always be there.  I will always appreciate another photo, another story, another remembrance of you.  More memories for the memory box that will never be full enough.  Which makes me think… maybe I should put it out there to all who knew you to please share any photos of you that they may have.  All of them are treasures and memories that would mean the world to us.

 

It was nice to spend an evening with good friends and to see your friend, Calvin, too. I am ever grateful for the “gift of you” that he sent us home with.

 

Love you little blue.  Like a bus.

 

 

 

Momxo

 

Number Eight

BasketballWednesday, June 29, 2011  (38 days)

 

Good morning, little sun,

 

Last night I was reminiscing about your favourite number.  Eight.  Kathleen and I had chatted on Monday about why you loved the number “8” so much and the obvious reasons, of course, where that, for one, it looked like a snowman and we all know how much you love snow.  Secondly, it was Ben’s favourite number and it was no secret that whatever Ben liked, you liked too.  Thirdly, Powder 8’s came to mind and one of Dad’s favourite memories is of you and him skiing fresh powder in Fernie; he crossing over the fresh turns you’d already made in the snow in front of him to make an “8”.  Then, we remembered that in all of the sports you played, if there was a jersey and a choice of which number could be worn, you always chose a number that had an “8” in it.

 

Last night as I stood in the driveway saying goodbye to Kathleen, I turned around to walk back into the house and staring at me was our house number.  Number 8!  I stopped and stared, unable to move, and thought that perhaps the most beautiful reason of all, was that home was number 8.   Beautiful tears filled my eyes and at that moment I thought that maybe you were telling me something; that maybe “8” was your favourite number because it was your home.  Our home.  Because of that, I have never loved our home more.

 

I love you WillBilly.  Like a bus and to infinity.  (Which Mrs. Fischer reminded me today is an 8 turned on its side).  Another Wow.

 

Momxo