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A Skier’s Dream

The first heavy snow fall always reminds me of my father.  It was his belief the first snow  was one that would determine the winter for cross-country skiing. He dreamed of the fresh powder which allowed you to glide with ease across the open trails in the winter time.

After a really good storm we would tie our skies to back of the car and  drive off to the ski club.  At that age I didn’t appreciate the beauty, the silence, or the fresh scent of pine cones along the trail.  My poor father would hear the lamenting of a ten-year old complaining of cold feet and ice-cold cheeks.

It was my father’s promises of hot chocolate and warmth in the ski lodge that kept me moving along the trail. The first sip always burning the tongue but the rich warmth of the flavor would engulf my whole body.  The times spent by the wood stove we would chat and warm-up munching on the baked cookies my mom had made for our trip. It was these special moments in time that take me back to a special place with my Father.

Only years later with the birth of my two sons you could see the twinkle in my Father’s eyes and I knew he was waiting for the perfect age to take them out on their own set of skies.  They were only toddlers and not quite ready!  But if he had his way they would have been on skies the moment they began to walk. Sadly, he never got the chance to take them out on the open trail and share the warmth of a hot chocolate in the wooden lodge.

It was the year before my father passed away he logged over 1200 kilometers on his cross-country skies and it was his perfect winter. He hung his certificate with beaming pride looking forward to another great season. Sadly, he never got to relive that moment of glory.

On his last night on earth we stood by his bed side and looking out at the gentle snowfall – it was a skier’s dream.  It was at his last moments of breath I envisioned him with his backpack skiing through the starry ski and reaching up to heaven above.

It is now when I am skiing with my own kids I feel the warm glow of the sun glisten through the trees and it feels as if my dad is watching down over us. It’s at those moments my heart warms just a little more and I reflect on the beauty of winter memories.

How do you honor the spirit of loved ones who have passed? Do you feel their spirit with you in your heart?

Categories: Cross country skiing Loss of a loved one Winter Memories

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

60 replies

  1. *hugs* Twelve hundred kilometres is one heck of an accomplishment! You can teach your boys to love it, and maybe they will one day find the joy in it your father did.

    I love cc skiing, haven’t gone in a long time (um, skis were left behind) but I can feel exactly what you describe. Good stuff.

    1. Thank you 🙂 He loved to cross country and downhill ski. It was his time and he loved it! My boys love to downhill but I regret not getting them out cross-country skiing. It is something I really need to do…

  2. It was just my first time to experience snow when I went to the US last May. It was a wonderful experience and a really big feat, coming from someone who has lived her 25 years in a two-season country like the Philippines. I have not experienced skiing, but i understand the looking-forward-to-warm-chocolate feeling that i used to have when i went to Nevada.

  3. What a wonderful and moving post. I too have fantastic memories of skiing with my father. He didn’t start to ski until he was in his twenties, but he was determined I would be better than him so he did put me on skies as soon as I could walk. Needless to sat I stood up, sat down, took them off, put them on, stood up, sat down, took them off, put them on, over and over again! Well I was only 2! But funny you put up that particular post today – just last night I was working on my husband in an attempt to plan a ski trip for next Christmas. I haven’t skiied with my Dad for 5 years and we need to get in another trip before … well, before he gets too old. At 76 he can still rip up the downhill slopes!

    1. That’s awesome! I think you definitely need to make plans for another ski trip! I really think there is nothing better in the winter then putting on the skis and zooming down the hill! It’s just too much fun to pass up! I bet your Dad would love to have you with him:)

  4. Your father must have been a great man to have raised a daughter such as you. By the looks of it he sure was quite the adventurer.
    As for your question. Well, the ethically correct answer is that yes, they live on in our hearts and we are never alone etc etc. Honestly speaking though, you and I both know no man’s life is defined by those who have passed away. All we can do to honor them is with a prayer and a moment of silence. Nothing more is in our power.

  5. what a beautiful job you have done honouring your father, and giving us a glimpse of what a wonderful man he was.
    For me, especially at Christmas, it is honouring my grandparents by having our huge family still gather for Christmas dinner on Christmas day. Growing up we always met at the big farm house. We don’t have them, that big house, or the big harvest table anymore, but we still continue to gather; continue to build memories. That’s the gift they wanted every year – to just be able to look around and see all the smiling faces of the people they loved. I see my grandma’s smile in the faces of the my own children.
    Well, that and a box of chocolate covered cherries for grandma, and a good bottle of scotch for grandpa. Which someone always makes sure to still buy.
    (actually, being Irish/Scottish – I think we end up with several bottles of scotch on the table – ha)

  6. heartfelt..I was carried away on how you narrated the story of your father.So sad he never had the chance to bond with your kids that long…This post is a nice tribute to your father…

  7. oh dear, this is very touching. what a great father he was and what a great daugter you are 🙂
    And I’m sure he is still living through you and your children.

    Your writing is always great. To the point yet so elegant and colourful.
    I can almost taste that hot chocolate. I very much love those.
    I have never experienced skiing for I have never had the opportunity to see that side of nature. But this inspires me to put it on my wish list.

    As for honoring our loved ones. My grandma was dear to my heart. She used to be the keeper of my piggy bank – she took care of it with utmost love. And always had a smile ready for me. I carry that smile with me 🙂

  8. Beautiful post – brought a tear to my eye – what a great memory! I strongly believe that at any given time we have at least one of the three grandmothers looking over us. We got in a fight one afternoon and all of sudden the master bedroom door just slammed – no air or heat on and no windows open – I took that as a sign to shut up and make up! I think about the loved ones no longer in my life and they will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart:) Every one of them has touched my life and helped make me the person I am today. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Belle, I’m a little weepy after reading this post. And what a beautiful post it is! Seriously sister, this is what good writing is supposed to look like! Not only have you managed to place me on the ski slopes alongside of your dad, you’ve also brought a tear to my eye with the emotional and touching tribute to your father. I loved, loved, loved it! I’ve always thought it’s the beautiful memories we have of our loved ones that at times carry us through the day, the week, or the season. How lovely to remember your father every winter when you see snow! Beautifully written, Belle. Just beautiful! Happy holidays to you, friend! 🙂

  10. Lovely: and totally alien to us here in Britain. What a wonderful experience growing up somewhere where skiing is the norm, almost like walking: and to have memories of your father all bound up with such a very elemental experience. You wrote beautifully….

  11. Thanks for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes, honestly. I hope that someday, my future child will remember me the way you remember your father.

    Happy Holidays ! !

  12. I read this post in the morning on my phone and just now got around to commenting. It brought tears to my eyes. I’ve been thinking of my grandma these past couple of days and this made me miss her so much more. I think, “her” post will be written soon!!! What a beautiful memories.

  13. I haven’t lost a lot of people. Mostly it’s been my mom, and I try to bring her forward in my life now by being cognizant of and thankful for my many gifts. I have so much–freedom, support, resources–that remembering this is all the result of my mom’s loving sacrifices (in a way) really does help her be here with me. In a sweet way. Every time I hold Li’l D, I remember the way she held me and my siblings with love. It’s in those little moments (and in certain songs!) that she lives on.

    1. It’s amazing sometimes what we see in our kids that reflect us back to memories of our parents. Sometimes it’s a look they give you or a choice in their attire. It is these small details that know my dad is close in my heart.

  14. Thank you for the beautiful story! It made me cry more than a little.
    I’ve just been trying to take in some quiet moments and be thankful and happy, and remember that my loved ones are always with me. It’s taken me a while to get to that place, though!

  15. I lost my father in the winter too. My clearest memory of him is when he took me ice skating on a little pond. I was so young, I don’t remember many details, but it was good day.

    This is a lovely piece.

  16. I understand the skiers dream. We had 1 1/2 ft of snow in Denver 5 days ago I could go X country skiing in my neighborhood and I had time to do it. My daughter went with snowshoeing. We blazed trails through deep snow. The perfect snow – what a wonderful memory of your father!

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