This was February 14, 2004. It snowed twice this year. Once on this day and once on my step-son’s birthday two days before Christmas. This particular snow was the first we had seen in a long time. I guess I did not scan all of the snow pics because I have a lot more. Justin had “Saturday School” that day and so Scott and I got him up and loaded him in the suburban and risked our lives to take him because he would have been suspended or worse if he missed. I don’t know what we were thinking – we left our two middle school age daughters at home alone. Anyway… we got to the school and other parents had braved the elements to get their kids to school as well… but no one was there to let us in. So we made the 10 minute turned into an hour drive back home and got inside. By this time the house was abuzz with kids bundled up in everything from bathrobes to heavy coats. I got out my trusty disposable cameras and began snapping away. Then I threw a big old fit – There was at least two or three inches of snow and I wanted a SNOWMAN! My precious son was the only one who would get out there and roll snow with me. You see how long it lasted. We had a snowbaby!!! Yippee! The kids spent the afternoon with our neighbors having snowball fights and sneaking inside to thaw their frozen fingers. I had planned a very special family Valentine’s that day and so while they played I cooked a big breakfast and we ate to warm our insides. Then I set about the work of the day. Preparing for the dinner and activity that would impress upon us not only our love for one another, but also the love God has for us and desires we express to others.
I cooked chicken parmesan and sat my family down to the meal with the oohs and ahhs of everyone at the table. (Don’t ask them they might remember it differently.) Then we retired to the living room where I handed out pink, white and red sheets of paper, glue, scissors and colored pens and markers. The exercise was to look up a verse in the Bible about God’s love and write on a card to place on a heart collage we were making. Then they were to make a collage that represented what love meant to them. The last thing we did was write down how we could make the verse of Scripture we looked up more applicable in our own lives. I have all of those collages in a manilla envelope today. It took me months to find them after Justin died, but I did. Those types of treasure are worth their weight in Gold and that is why I remember with special fondness the snow on Valentine’s Day. I told my kids that it was like waking up to a personal Valentine from God, Himself, just for us on Valentine’s Day. (Now, this part was not as much fun as I would have liked for it to have been, at least not starting out. But once everybody got started the end results were priceless.)
These days when the weather threatens ice and snow, my girls groan wildly. They just cannot seem to face another snow without their brother to play in it with. I say, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow. It is just another way I remember my Jay and all the fun we had.