I’m smil­ing right through win­ter

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - THE SOCIAL PAGE -

WE’RE all be­com­ing quite tired of the cold and the snow — and we’ve only just passed the mid-point of win­ter — but I had to share the mo­ment my spir­its were lifted above the bleak fore­cast. Now I feel like I can cruise through this weather un­til spring with a big smile and a lighter heart. In early Jan­uary, I wake up to a break in the frigid tem­per­a­tures, but not a break in the snow. So be it. Out I go to start shov­el­ling the overnight drifts when I see they have plowed the op­po­site side of the street right down to the pave­ment, cre­at­ing the pro­to­typ­i­cal gi­ant ridge along the side of the street. Be­ing a Win­nipeg­ger and know­ing what’s com­ing, I head to the shed to get the chip­per so when they re­turn on our side, I can start hack­ing and chis­elling my way through the about-to-be-cre­ated chest-high ridge. As I shovel the front walk and make my way street­side, the pa­rade of graders comes down our side and, as ex­pected, cre­ates the mother of all ridges. I sigh, re­signed to my fate, and con­tinue shov­el­ling snow, head­ing to­ward the wall of ice and snow. Fol­low­ing the three graders were two front-end load­ers. With­out so much as a wink or a nod, the driver of one loader clears the ridge in front of our house down to the grass. I am taken aback, only be­cause I was pre­pared to do the work my­self and the driver’s ac­tion was so un­ex­pected. I make sure I make eye con­tact: I straighten up and give him a salute, he shoots back a thumbs-up, and off we go to our re­spec­tive busi­ness. In Novem­ber 2011, I ex­pe­ri­enced an acute as­cend­ing aor­tic dis­sec­tion. I spent 14 hours in surgery hav­ing my aorta re­placed and more than six months off work re­cov­er­ing from it. My wife now watches me shovel the snow ev­ery time, as she is afraid I’ll ex­ert my­self too much and burst, even though I as­sure her I am be­ing very, very care­ful. We all have to do what we have to do. Af­ter al­most los­ing my life, I left the hos­pi­tal with a re­newed sense of ap­pre­ci­a­tion and a de­ter­mined fo­cus on grat­i­tude and recog­ni­tion of events and ob­ser­va­tions that make life so pre­cious. In that vein, I’d like to say to the driver of the CASE 821E loader, marked No. 11, on Keen­ley­side Street on Jan. 3, 2014 at about 11:30 a.m. Thank you very, very much.

It’s go­ing to be a great year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.