Stories: Who We Have Lost

The Cold Never Bothered Me Until Today

Who did you lose to Covid 19? Rogelio Lechuga

Around 23 years ago, I saw you through a picture. Your big brown eyes and perfect tan skin were stunning against the evergreen trees and snow in front of those majestic mountains. It was just a picture, but it took my breath away. I gasped in disbelief that this beautiful man living in Colorado thought I was his person. Somehow, someway, I would make my way to you. It took us two months of long nights chatting on the phone, constantly sighing and giggling at every thought to plan for me to fly to meet you. I would fly to CO on December 5, 1998, to meet you. The man I would fall in love with and marry. I knew it from the first hello. I didn’t expect we’d have a last goodbye shortly after turning 40.

You planned our first date to the T. Mexican food, billiards, and our first kiss would be on a small footbridge at the lake where we would get married one day. You were so embarrassed when you embraced me and kissed me after a celebratory pass on the video arcade machine. You kept saying it wasn’t supposed to be this way. You wanted to kiss me as the snow kissed my cheeks. It didn’t matter to me. I was just happy to have your kisses finally. I wanted those kisses for the rest of my life.

There was nothing better than snow. Taking the kids sledding was so much fun. We hiked through it. We even played with snowballs and snowmen. It was an incredibly fun winter wonderland. After all, we lived there for years. Snow was a time for happiness. It pained us to move away from it to find our new job in Arizona. However, you promised we would always find snow, no matter where we went.

We rented cabins. We always kissed in the snow. It was a tradition you never broke after that first failure. Snow was so magical. We squealed to see it every single time. I loved the snow since I fell in love with you in it. Snow angels had nothing on you at all. The last time we went was on our son’s sixth birthday. We drove up to Payson for the day. It was unplanned, but you promised that we would go back and huddle up in a cabin as we watched the snowfall one day. As we ran through snowbanks, we laughed. We threw snowballs. It was magic. It was like a fairytale, and I did not want it to end.

COVID took you before we got to see the snow again. The kids longed for the snow. Because they saw the snow, it made them think of you and make them happy. They wanted to be close to you too. To see you in the snow like I always do. This past weekend, we made it to the snow. I looked into the vast white blanket, and I shivered. You are with me as I sank my feet in and exhaled heavily. I let the tears fall. When I see snow, you are there. I cried in the snow that day.

I watched our boy play, and his cheeks went red. He laughed and smiled. I know he found you there too. Oh, how we miss you. The cold never bothered me until today, when I realized we would never have another snow together. I wish you were still with me, and in a way, you are. You live in through the memories, so I will smile even if I want to cry. I never lost you, even if it feels like sometimes I did. You live through every moment that takes my breath away. It reminds me that you once stood there. You live on in my heart, and I will never let those moments go.

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