It’s ten in the morning, this great run around the block felt so invigorating for Diane Morgan. She loves the winter cold, bright sun and soft snow. Diane tries to run daily, the sweet pleasure away from the busy grocery store that she manages. She enjoys working but every so often, she feels the pressure of work and the family. Diane’s husband Rob is an accountant and their three children, Kimberly, Steven and Nicole keeps Diane constantly on the go. Diane is happily off today, she plans to visit Aunt Thelma at the hospital. She wants this February eighteenth to be fun, relaxing. Now, Diane runs towards her driveway, she sees their mailman.
" Ken, nice day, the sun is lovely!" He nods with a smile.
"Yes, better enjoy it, we’re getting a storm tonight!" Diane waves, she has heard of it. Before opening the door, she reaches in the mailbox to get bills, a thank you card from Grandma Pat who had a birthday last week. Recently, Diane had sent a few photos of the children at the church social. Diane now enters, there’s still the aroma of banana loaf that lingers. Diane made it before the kids had their breakfast. She places the mail nearby, kicks off her shoes, removes the jacket and now a stunning picture on the mantlepiece catches Diane’s eyes. It’s a gorgeous sunset of Jamaica beach where the newlyweds, Hilary and Richard enjoy their honeymoon. Diane’s cousin Hilary wrote a cute note, she’ll think of them chilling in the snow while she and Richard cherish the warm, inviting sand, glorious swimming. Diane is smiling but suddenly she is now reminded of dear, sweet Dad. She sits near a great photo of him, it’s been seven years since Diane’s father, Harold had passed away from cancer. Before his illness, Diane’s parents had planned to take a well deserved trip to beautiful, sunny Jamaica. It never happened, Diane misses his loving smile, laughter. Diane’s mom lives with her son, Kevin and family. Now, Diane proudly holds the photo, she knows that Dad is happy playing guitar in blissful heaven. This is an ideal thought. Before going up the stairs, Diane hears the phone and it’s Kimberly’s soft voice.
"Hi Mom, glad you’re home! Can you do something for me? After school, our basketball team will be playing at Thompson High and I thought the game is tomorrow. So, could you bring my uniform, sneakers, it’s in my room."
"Sure Kim, I’m heading to visit Aunt Thelma at the hospital. Meet you soon at the school door." Now, Diane scoots up the stairs to change, she notices a draft coming from Steven’s bedroom. Diane laughs, the window is opened and his hockey gloves, socks are certainly getting aired out.
Diane picks the red, grey scarf with a dove pin, a gift from Rob. She has the uniform, some banana loaf for Aunt Thelma. Diane turns, she sees the movie video on penguins that is due back, Nicole had it for a project. Once Diane is in the car, she has vivid thoughts, Dad telling of his days on the farm.
After leaving Kimberly’s school and video store, Diane is content. She has a good family movie for tonight’s storm. Now, Diane will have a fish burger at, Seaside Snack. Diane surprisingly sees Sister Catherine, Nicole’s substitute teacher.
"Hello Sister Catherine, it’s so nice seeing you! I’m Diane Morgan, you were my daughter Nicole’s teacher for grade two, December concert!" The nun gazes then smiles.
"Yes! Diane, charming pin! Your daughter Nicole is adorable, she has a beautiful singing voice. How are you dear, been a few years. I know you are grieving about your dad, he is very happy, perfect place now!" She sits with Diane.
"Sister Catherine, I’m doing ok, busy at work, I have a good marriage, kids are fine, Kimberly is fifteen, Steven, thirteen, Nicole is ten. I love running, it helps but some days I just cry. Other days, I feel relieved that Dad is not suffering."
"Oh I understand, let the fond memories shine, so tender. You’ll see your dad in dreams, that’s precious. Ah, you don’t have to call me Sister Catherine, just Casey. My nephews do, instead of Catherine Shirley Casing. So, are you free after lunch, like to go bowling?" Now, Diane is stunned.
"Bowling? I haven’t been bowling in years, way back when I dated Rob, he is my husband. Ah, I’m not good at it."
"Nonsense, we all need some fun, today is just right for an adventure!" She is all smiles, Diane finds this amusing. Sister Catherine doesn’t seem to be the typical nun Diane was used to at school. Now, Diane has a call from Rob, he tells to bring the new camera, Steven will video the basketball game. Rob is picking up Nicole, so the family will be together. Later, Casey gets into Diane’s car, she happily cries out.
"This beats a stuffy bus ride. Winter is delightful, snow, fresh air, sledding memories after school! I had fun falling off the toboggan. Ah, do you have butterscotch candy in the car?"
"Butterscotch candy? Sorry, I don’t have any here." Suddenly, Casey opens the glove compartment, there’s a bag of butterscotch candies. Diane now looks very surprised.
"Gosh, I didn’t know candies were there, wow!" They both laugh, this is so wonderful. Diane feels like a young girl who enjoyed fishing with her dad, playing hide and seek with neighbourhood kids, the finest thrill of all, figure skating. While waiting in traffic, Diane now can actually feel the sparkling moment of catching a fish and finding the best hiding spot, the rewarding, graceful skating in competitions.
"Diane, I remember when Nicole had brought pictures of you figure skating, pretty outfit! Do you still skate or teach?"
"Well, the last time, I was about to go on the ice, my family were sitting, waiting. Rob, the children were much younger and my parents were there. It was then, Dad took a turn, he collapsed with weakness and after many tests, we found out he had cancer. I thought that day was so cold, black because of terrible news. Before the competition, Dad gave me a silk bouquet of roses. The card said that I’ll always be a true winner in his eyes. I keep it by my bed. It’s seven years now." Diane and Casey sadly feel it. A pleasant chat starts once they see a sign, February Carnival is coming soon.
Later on, after fun bowling, smiling Diane drops Casey off at St. Michael’s Church. Diane surely had an exciting day. Shortly, she arrives at the hospital, she sees Aunt Thelma.
"Diane, what a nice surprise! This magazine is boring."
"Hi Aunt Thelma! I have candies, delicious banana loaf. I could get some tea. Oh, I had the most fascinating time with Nicole’s once teacher, Sister Catherine Casing or Casey. She gave me verse book markers. I love bowling and I’m going to skate again!" Now, Aunt Thelma is startled, she knows that Casey, her bowling friend had passed away two years ago. Gently marvelled Thelma calmly smiles, Sister Catherine must be an angel, something fascinating!!
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