Tuesday, February 03, 2009

angels in the snow


It was snowing this morning and might again tonight, but most of last week's snow and ice are just a nice memory.

When I was a kid we grew up with a family portrait of a little boy, from the Victorian era, Uncle Walter. He was my grandmother's uncle. He died young, at age five or six, I think. The popular family legend was that he was outside playing in the snow and he later that same day caught pneumonia and died. Somehow this morphed into "he died making angels in the snow." I'm sure my great grandmother was trying to romanticize a family tragedy, the loss of her beloved baby brother.


For years, I couldn't hear the phrase "angels in the snow" without thinking ruefully of Walter. But now the spell is broken, as I watch my daughter's pure joy and smile and realize that Walter must have also had a blast on that day so many years ago, making angels in the snow.

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