Memories loom larger as the winter of my life approaches. My least favourite season.

In my better yesterdays I moved with ease and healed faster when I didn’t. Possibilities spun out in front of me like colourful balls of yarn to knit into opportunities I chose to explore. Places and relationships to experience, grasp, caress and hold on to, most now ghosts in the days of my life passed. I look ahead and see less. I look around in the present at the wisps of memory visions that lift and settle like mist from the objects that surround me.

The simple brown teapot my grandmother brewed afternoon tea in, served with fresh-baked gingerbread or a windmill-shaped almond cookie. The joy in our eyes and smiles forever frozen within an 8-by-10 frame by the photographed image that announced our engagement. The glass bluebirds of happiness perched on a heart-shaped base, given to my parents to mark one anniversary of their marriage, that’s inspired an idea for my next novel.

I wince from the twinge of pain in my ankle injured not by a slip on winter’s ice but a twist in the hallway of my home. As my elder Huskies struggle to their paws on aching joints, I remember their eager pulls on leashes, the zoomie runs in circles and the gallops around green spaces in years gone by. Winter wears on us. Our time together ticks away.

My boy dog barks. He stomps his paws. I slide off the stool at my kitchen island and peek around the front room door frame in time to see a stuffed dog toy tossed and caught in Ellis’s jaws. He shakes the fuzzy bear that has held its shape and retained most of its curly coat through three dogs. He sees me, tosses his toy and barks.

Ellis in play shows me the way forward beyond our age and infirmity. I toss the bear back to him and howl with my own laughter.

This is our now.

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Memories loom larger as the winter of my life approaches. My least favourite season. In my better yesterdays I moved with ease and healed faster when I didn’t. Possibilities spun out in front of me like colourful balls of yarn to knit […]

Teresa LaBella