Quarter-sized snowflakes landed carelessly across a crisp blanket of snow that morning. While the cold but still air felt undoubtedly like winter, it seemed to hold the slightest hint that Spring was not too far in the future. It was a typical Saturday in early February that awakened fresh memories of a not too distant past.
He trampled the unbroken sheet of white and made his way up the slight hill to where she lay. The sleepy sun cast long shadows against the tomb stones and head markers in the distance. Everything about this place told him to remain quiet, yet he wanted to scream.
So he did – then he laughed, and finally cried.
Her marker stood as a memorial, but to what – a life that never had a chance to begin – a rose that’s taken before its petals are unfurled? It seemed beyond the point for questions but not out of the realm of reason to ask them. He knew he’d see his daughter again someday, but standing there very much alone that morning, he needed something more than a promise.
As the sun rose higher, the snowflakes began to wane and finally disappeared giving way to a small, chilly breeze. He tucked his hands in the deep pockets of his jacket and buried his beard into his chest. His right hand tightened around a folded piece of paper which felt oddly familiar. Realizing it was a photograph, he brought it to his chest, keeping it folded. The pictures in his mind were much clearer and required little effort to open. Closing his eyes tightly, the tears still came but dried quickly against the cold air and a steady stream of sunshine.
He let out a sigh and turned to leave but something bid him to stay. Whether acting on impulse or simply obeying the still, small voice that spoke to him that morning, he fell to the ground and lay on his back. He grinned, then laughed out loud while wildly flailing his arms and legs.
“I’ve made an angel for my angel,” he said to himself.
A sudden burst of wind caught him unaware and he shuddered a bit as he caught his breath. Rising to his feet, he brushed away the icy pellets that clung to his jacket and tucked the photograph into his chest pocket. As he slowly turned to say goodbye, the sun hid bashfully behind a large, white cloud – the air stood strangely calm and gave some indication of what he would see.
A small snow angel lay nestled next to his.