Winter in The Homeland means snow. Some years, it means more snow than others. And this year is one of the “more snow” years. Indeed, this winter is one for the record books! Yes, my hometown has been hit with so much snow that people can’t keep up. Feet and feet of snow. And that means the mountain pass is closed and has been closed for a few days now.
Of course, when you live in a snowy mountain community, you expect this. Well, you don’t expect this much snow every year, but you do know it’s a possibility and most people prepare for that as best as they can. My parents included.
Only this winter’s storms and pass closures were something we weren’t prepared for.
You see, my Mum hadn’t been feeling well for a while, so we took her to Madigan Army Medical Center just after Christmas where she was admitted for a few days to help rehydrate her and get her strength back. When she was discharged just after New Year, it was decided that she (meaning we since I was still there) would stay at my youngest sister’s house – just a few miles from the hospital.
The day after Mum was discharged, Daddy made the drive back to Cle Elum (2 hours away, on the other side of the pass) to take care of a few things at the house before the snowstorms hit. But the storms hit earlier and stronger than we anticipated, and it meant that Daddy was stuck at home in Cle Elum (and for longer than expected) whilst Royann and I helped to nurse Mum back to health and full strength.
So yeah. Mum was unwell and stuck at her daughter’s house on one side of the pass and Daddy was stuck in Cle Elum unable to take care of Mum. It broke my heart because I could see how very much the situation was upsetting them both. After all, they may be two people, but they are one couple; one shared life.
But I could see the joy in Mum’s eyes and hear the happiness in her voice when Dad called each day. And it made me realise how very lucky they are to have each other; to love each other; to draw energy from each other.
And I could hear the determination in Daddy’s voice for his desire to get back to Royann’s – and to his wife – as soon as it was safe to do so. And if he could, he would have moved that mountain one boulder at a time just to get to her.
After nearly 53 years of marriage, my parents want to be together; they want to be near each other. In health, yes. But even now, in sickness, they want to be together. That is what marriage is; that is what a partnership is.
And now, they are together again. Whilst Daddy didn’t have to literally move a mountain, he did manage to travel across the mountain yesterday. And the love between those two was so clear, that it could have melted all the snow in Cle Elum!
As for Mum, she has a while to go yet in her return to full health. But we are blessed that she has access to excellent healthcare at the military hospital. And now that she has been reunited with the love of her life, I am hopeful that she will grow stronger!
Photo note: That’s a photo of Peoh Point, our local mountain in my hometown of Cle Elum, and what my Mum refers to as her mountain. Daddy took the photo a couple of days before my arrival for my Christmas holidays so that I had a nice background image for work video calls. It has a lot more snow on it now!
[Note: This post was published a month after it was written. Sadly, my Mum didn’t get better, and died at the end of January.]