An Open Apology Letter to Winter

Feb. 15, 2004
Dear winter,
I have a confession and an apology to make.

I don’t hate you.

In fact, I think you’re beautiful. I’m sorry that I’ve been so angry at you for a few years now. I realized today that it’s not you that I’m mad at. It’s this awful disease of MS that I have that makes it so very difficult to get around in winter. I’m sorry for the misplaced anger. Please forgive me.

Today on this sunny, blue sky, tranquil Saturday morning I was reminded of how beautiful you are. As I sat on my bench at the skating rink and watched my girls skate, I took in your glorious wonder.
I looked at the perfectly white mounds of snow and had so many fond memories flooding back to me of the snow where I grew up in Newfoundland.
-I remember my love of snowmobiling virtually every afternoon of my life after school.
-I pictured the massively high snow banks on each side of our little town’s streets, and all of the fun we had has children playing on those.
-I recounted the countless hours spent with my friends tobogganing and skiing on the little slopes all throughout our neighbourhood.
-I fondly reminisced of the snowmobile trip my wife and I took while on our honeymoon in Vermont.

I so loved those days.

I then focused in on the ice itself and remembered how much I loved skating.
-As kids we grabbed our skates after school, jumped on our ski-doos and drove to the nearest frozen pond to play hockey.
-I loved the times when a group of friends would go to the local skating rink, go round and round, and take breaks in the stands of the rink with little cups of hot chocolate. Sometimes I’d even get to hold the hand of a pretty girl as we skated.
-I remember those winters when the bay in our little town would freeze over and we could go out on the ice on our ski-doo or ATV. We’d often dig a hole in that ice with an ice-auger and throw in a jigger and catch some codfish for supper.

I loved those days.

I took them for granted.

Now I can barely walk. I miss winter activities. But now, the slightest bit of snow in my path makes life a lot more difficult for me. I miss not being able to skate. Now I’m literally afraid for my life whenever I step on or near a patch of ice. It’s awful.

So yes, even though I long for you to go away, it’s not because I hate you. I don’t. It’s just that you remind me so often of the things that the disease has taken from me. No walks with my wife though winter wonderland trails. No skating with my daughter on Saturday mornings. I can’t even help to make a snowman any more.

So thanks for giving me some respite today and letting me enjoy my morning at the rink. It was lovely.

But still, and please don’t take this personally, if you could leave now and never come back I’d be thankful for that and would be perfectly content with my memories of you.

Your frenemy,

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