The first snowy day of 1982.
A Solitary Snowflake
A solitary snowflake landed on my nose on the first snowy day of 1982. I remember the date: December 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Why would I remember the exact date a snowflake landed on my nose? Because life as I knew it changed that day at 2:35 pm.
My music manager, Bob, and I had run errands all day, buying musical equipment for my upcoming gig, as well as office supplies. We were also picking up my daughter’s coat from the dry cleaners. Bob suggested stopping for lunch, but I wanted to get home before the school bus arrived.
As we brought in our purchases, a snowflake landed on my nose.
“Whoopie, it’s snowing!” I said as I crossed my eyes trying to see the solitary flake.
The temperature was dropping rapidly.
My oldest daughter stepped off the high school bus and hurried into the warmth; my teenaged son got dropped off at his friend’s house, so he wouldn’t be home until later. My youngest daughter would be home on the middle school bus in about an hour.
“Mom, did you pick up my coat?” Cindy asked.
“It’s in the trunk of Bob’s car,” I said.
Cindy started to go out the door, Bob’s car keys in hand when he stopped her.
“I’ll get it,” he said. “It’s freezing out there.”
He went to his car (parked in front of my townhouse) but came right back in.
“The lock’s frozen.”
He got his lighter and went back outside. I watched him at his trunk as he tried to unfreeze the lock.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car come around the curve straight for Bob. The driver was sliding on the ice and couldn’t avoid what was about to happen.
I ran to the door and screamed, “Bob!”
He turned, moving his right leg as he turned toward the sound of my voice. The car hit his left leg at the knee and smashed it into his 1980 Chevy Nova’s heavy metal bumper.
This story is about a solitary snowflake, so I won’t go into details, other than he lived another thirty-eight years, though as a disabled man.
My mind goes back to that day more than I am comfortable with. They call it PTSD. As my thoughts slam me, there is always that wondrous moment before life changed—when that solitary snowflake tickled my nose.
To this day, I can’t help but smile.