Snow Falling on Cedars


My daughter’s apartment is one quarter of a large, chalet-style house, nestled into a semi-circle of huge cedar trees. In the summer, every dewy morning hides a treasure in these heady scented branches — dewdrops suspended in spider webs, playful squirrels, bird chatter. The winter doesn’t disappoint either as feather-fingered boughs bend and groan under the weight of a new snowfall. It’s a cozy little paradise that begs you to pause, see, listen and reflect. I spent several chilly mornings last week doing exactly that.

Grandson Nolan is improving steadily, but the process of regulating insulin/sugar levels in one so young is slow and frustrating. He’s still in the hospital, but may be going home today. He’s taken the toe- and finger pricks in stride already, and the several daily injections as well. He’s an amazing little boy who shows such strength and acceptance that the rest of us have no choice but to do the same. His Mom and Dad have been incredible through what must have been some terrifying hours for them, all the while looking down a road that stretches in front of them forever.

I learned many things from little Nolan during the days I spent with him. I learned that a tiny hand offered through a crib railing offers as much comfort to an adult woman as it does to a little boy. I learned that smiles through pain come from tremendous courage that rests in places I’ve never before explored. I learned that a single tear from big, brown eyes can make your heart ache. I learned never to complain again about a ‘bad hair day’ after seeing where golden curls had been shaved to accommodate an IV. I learned about acceptance. Courage. Trust. Love. I was reminded what matters most. What matters at all.

While snow continues to fall on cedars, my grandson will (hopefully) soon be back home. Safe. Warm. Content. Healthy. And if he should look at those beautiful stands of trees, he’ll find a large part of my heart tucked into a snow-quilted branch.

[photo © Erin Bond]

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6 thoughts on “Snow Falling on Cedars

  1. Nancy, I am so pleased to read that your grandson will (hopefully) soon be home. Your rendition of the experience is so heartwrenching. Your title really grabbed me! (having read that great novel) but it was far more fitting the way you wove it into your post.

    May your grandson soon be stabilized with his insulin levels, may his parents find comfort and peace, and may you too find that warmth of spirit that is obviously beating away like healthy heart.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Diane, Sand to Glass

  2. Thank you, Diane, for your kind words and thoughts. My daughter just called to say that Nolan is home and doing well. So now, Christmas can begin. :) I hope to catch up on my blog reading soon…I’ve missed our visits!

  3. Well… you’ve certainly touched this little heart!

    Beautifully told. What a great little man your daughter and son-in-law are raising!

  4. I’m glad some of the ho-ho-ho is returning to your Christmas. But could you be just a little more vivid and poignant in your descriptions, please?

    Man oh man, you’re good.

  5. Nancy, I’m so glad Nolan is home now and doing well, I hope that means you can exhale now.

    “I learned that a tiny hand offered through a crib railing offers as much comfort to an adult woman as it does to a little boy.” Nolan is a beautiful child.

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