The snow has been falling steadily for hours, swirling about the gray sky and coating the trees and grass with a layer of white that belies the fact that it’s the first week of spring.
It’s not atypical for late March in Cincinnati, where Opening Day might be followed by 2 inches of snow.
What’s not typical is that on this March afternoon, I am sitting in the hospital with my grandfather, listening to our family’s favorite Christmas CDs.
You hear about Christmas in July. Why not Advent in March?
We are, after all, waiting. And it’s basically quiet, if not especially still.
We’re not really celebrating anything, but we are preparing, just as we do in Advent.
A baby came to save us, to end death even as we all physically die. We are assured that we’ll live on, in peace for eternity in a Heaven devoid of physical pain or corporeal suffering. I imagine that there we will be our best selves, surrounded by all that we love and cherish, and all the people we miss.
I can understand that it’s not understandable. That whatever is “up there” is not conceivable by the human mind. That it’s better than we can hope; it’s something beyond our definitions of happy or perfect.
William Gilbert Scroggins died March 26, at age 91.
I won’t forget that cold afternoon a few days earlier, listening to the holiday music that marked our family’s Christmas mornings for longer than I’ve been alive. I won’t forget the snow, and the bittersweet feeling of peace it brought down to the earth as each flake fell.
I won’t forget the hope mixed with fear, and the realization that in our hearts, it’s always Advent. We’re always preparing to meet our God and be one with Him, to know the full meaning of Jesus’s birth and the miracle of our creation and our salvation.
That is certainly something worth waiting for.
Photo: freedigitalphotos.net/Tina Phillips