As the cold wind blows, I stand here, chilled to my bones, knowing that you are saddened that I took up this very bad habit.
You never wanted this life for me. I know that now, more than I know anything else is in this world to be true.
Since the day I was born, you only wanted the best for me.
As the cold, wet snow, beats down upon me, I close my eyes and I remember how much you struggled to provide for us, your family. You took many jobs; you worked many long nights and did many hard tasks, to make us survive. At the end of each day, you gave us a roof over our head and food on our plates.
I have never once stopped thanking you for that.
It’s cold and the wind is blowing. The snow is falling upon me, hard, with vengeance, but I don’t care. I stand here numb, in my slippers, as the tears fall endlessly down on my rosy cheeks. I never blush, but the only time I get red, is when I think of you and when I have to hold back the tears.
I remember when I was little and gas was too expensive at $0.40 a litre, so we had to walk for what seemed liked forever to the grocery store. I was always so cold and you would give me your large, oversized jacket and put it on top of my old dirty snow suit; you didn’t want to see me shiver and cry. You would walk in the snow storm, with your head held high, without any protection from the strong winds, just for me.
I reminisce about when we had snow days at school; you would call in sick from those many, many jobs, and we would go outside and have snow ball fights and make snow angels, snow men and snow forts. We never stopped until we found all the serene green under all the glistening piles of white snow. I remember the times when you took me tobogganing. We couldn’t afford a real sled, so you would tear up a cardboard box and flip up the front and tell me to hold on, as we flew down the hills together. You holding me tight, me smiling all the way down. A true breathe of fresh air. Afterwards, we would go inside and you would make hot coca with those small tiny marshmallows, knowing that it was my silent favourite.
You took me camping in the snow once because you knew, I needed to know, how to survive in the Canadian cold. I was still so young, but you knew, at my young age, survival of life, was my only main course. You taught me how to dry cedar bark and start a fire with wet wood. You taught me how to make s’mores with saltine crackers and smoked sardines. You taught me how to skate on ponds and rivers and how to test the ice for proper fishing.
Because of you, I am now a jack of all trades. And, I am very proud of that.
If you were here with me now, you would look me in the eyes and say “Kitten, I taught you better than this.” I would shake my head in grievance and stop this bad habit immediately.
As I light another smoke, cold and shivering, I wish. I wish I had your love wrapped around me again. I wish for my one piece snow suit I loved so much. I wish that you were here with me now.
I realize that I continue this bad habit, because one day I wish that you will come and save me from it.
As the cold wind blows I think to myself, if I ever got the chance to be so lucky to see you again, would this be how our conversation goes?
“Hey Kitten, how are you? What have you been up to?”
I would instantly start to cry like I always did when I saw you and I know I’ve done something wrong.
“Daddy, I smoke now. I’m sorry.”
You would look at me, with those tender, caring, soft brown eyes and say “I know Kitten. It’s okay.”
As I rewind the memories, I know that I am proud to be the woman I am today, because you raised me to be, who I was meant to be. Proud, strong and loud.
Thank you Daddy. I love you.