Saturday, December 18, 2010
Christmas Eve, 2004: Ralph was home from the hospital. He'd done his time in isolation, responded well to the chemo and the leukemia was in remission. He was even driving again. We were hoping one of his siblings would be a good match for a stem cell transplant. We were "cautiously optimistic" about the future. On that December day Ralph went for blood tests while I drove over to Blockbuster to rent a movie. As I got out of my car, a white flake fell on the sidewalk. A man heading for the store stopped and together we stared at the sky. More white flakes. It was actually snowing. In Houston!
I called Ralph on my cell. "Guess what. It's snowing."
"Yeah," he said. "Everyone is at the windows, staring out."
The snow fell all day. I drove over to the Galleria to wander through the stores, enjoying watching last-minute shoppers, Christmas music, the hurry and then the gradual slowing of this last day before the holiday. When I got home, snow was still falling, and it continued through the evening. At midnight we looked outside to see our front yard a lovely white and the snow still gently falling. We put on jackets and ran outside, holding hands, drinking in the beauty of the only white Christmas in Houston history.
It was our last Christmas together.