Wednesday, 26 March 2014


It's snowing today, those larger flakes of springtime snow, soft and fluffy, wet, the kind that only comes when it is near the border of freezing and slush. They drift by my window, a light wind lifting them up, nature pulling them down, their path a meandering wander from heaven to earth. There are millions of flakes, billions of flakes, all unique, all formed in the same way, all on a random pathway, all driven by forces beyond their control, each of them separate yet all of them connected. When the season of their life is complete they will flow into the mass of moisture that is our rivers, then lakes, then rivers again, flowing ultimately to the sea, once again to return into the eternal cycle that is their life.

I look at the snow and cannot help but think of humanity, of how some of us are formed in one way and others in another, yet all of us arriving in life the same way, pure, as yet untouched by the voyage. We all move from birth to death, from creation to destruction, some driven, some lazily drifting, some moving against the flow of life, others moving with it all too quickly. We are all creatures of the same creation, all a part of a greater whole, yet each of us is a unique and individual part of that creation. As our life flows ever onward, there are times when we are lifted up, times when we are driven down, times when we are simply drifting. In the end we will all die, our bodies rejoining the stardust from which we were created, once more melded into that eternal cycle.

This is the time in my life when I can see the end; the voyage is almost over. Soon, like a snowflake, I will reach the final drift in my journey. Soon, like the snowflake, I will rest, unmoving. As I watch this play of wind and weather outside my window, I wonder how many more of these I will get to see, how many snows, how many storms, how many days of sun and rain. Like the snowflake, I move at the average speed of humanity, making up a part of that mass, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Like the snowflake, I am one of billions, all of whom will end up in the same place.

Unlike the snowflake, I will get to see many seasons in my life. I have seen nearly 60 winters and summers. Soon I will see my last. I don't know if this is my last year, but my last year is fast approaching. The average ALS patient lives for three to five years after onset. My onset was in the spring of 2011; it is fast approaching three years.


  1. ... and for some it comes so fast. More like the blizzard across the prairies. Destroying everything in its path. Raping pillaging and dismembering everything it's path. Like the mudslide in Washington State,leaving a pile of broken toys, but no children found yet. Or a jetliner hurtling through the air toward thr Indian Ocean killing everyone.
    Which way is better?Who gets to come back and tell? What makes the family sffer more,the waiting and watching and counting the days,weeks, months, or the shock and sadness of not being able to say goodbye,and sometimes being able to clean up some old business? And in the end most of us don't get to choose the path we will one day all walk down.

  2. Oh God Rick, my tears fall when I think of your end. I don't want you to go. Please stay I love you so much. Mom