At the man’s memorial service, his mother told a story from when he was a boy.
Mother and son were in the car. The boy was 11 or 12. It was wintertime.
The boy turned to his mother and said, I love wintertime.
No one at the memorial service would have been surprised by this. The stories told were filled with how the man loved the water, the mountains, and the wide open air.
The mother had turned to her son and said something like, Because you can ski? Or maybe she said play hockey, snowshoe, hurl snowballs.
The man’s life had been one of movement. His grandchildren called him Gogo. His friends called his energy boundless. His heart, too.
Then his heart stopped, without warning. After 62 years of beating. And on a snowy winter day, a large and shocked crowd gathered for the memorial service.
They heard that the man fixed light switches without being asked, brought a band of fiddlers to the doorstep of an Irish friend in mourning, had been sober for 29 years.
And they heard that on another winter day, years and years and years earlier, he had been an 11 or 12 year old boy in the car with his mother.
I love wintertime, he told his mother, because you can see the shape of the trees.