What you need to know about a Labrador child

Labrador winters are harsh and sometimes uninviting, but you can never take Labrador from the heart of any child, man or woman who rides the rugged terrain on a snowmobile. It is in our blood.

I feel the need to make comment about a recent situation that has made national headlines. A 14-year-old boy from Makkovik Labrador who went missing on his snowmobile and was found frozen to death on the ice.

From what news organizations have been reporting, when this boy had gone missing his parents instantly began a search with members of the community. I have no doubt what-so-ever that they did everything humanly possible to find their child. Yes, I say their, because we all know that in this province the community raises a child.

Canada’s DND didn’t respond right away. It is said it’s because of weather. I won’t make any direct comments regarding that because I –nor anyone else- may never know the exact reasoning as to why these search and rescue helicopters didn’t make it to the scene.  But one can’t help but question that these aircrafts are certainly better equipped then the regular old chopper that takes workers back and forth to mining operations and fishing expeditions.

I’m responding to this situation not as a reporter, but as a concerned Labradorian. This could have been my little cousin. This could have been my best friends child. This could have been anyone.

I know from having lived in Labrador for 20 years of my life that the weather is anything but predictable. I know that I’ve been riding my own snowmobile since I was 13-years-old. It’s a right of passage and a way of life in small communities – you can’t dismiss it if you haven’t lived it.

To anyone casting blame over the parents in this situation – shame on you. Do you let your child go outside your door to ride a bike to school, to take the bus to school, to walk to their grandparents house? Yeah you do. Anything can happen at any time, this couldn’t have been predicted.

Accidents happen. Tragic accidents happen. Instead of casting blame over something that nobody would have dreamed to happen, try having a little sympathy. Walk a cold mile in young Burton Winters shoes.

27 years

Today marks my parents 27th wedding anniversary. There have been some ups and downs, to which I can certainly vouch for, and may have been the cause of…but I know my parents are glued for life. Here are some things I enjoy about my parents.

The way Dad says “Mudder, Mandy wants you” when I’m done talking to him on our regular phone chats.

The way Mom pulls herself together and manages to ignore Dads annoying habits.

The way I feel, and others feel, when walking through the porch door. No one is a stranger in moms and dads house.

The way Dad says he doesn’t like something mom cooks, but eats two and a half plates full anyway.

The way Mom gives presents and puts from “Mom and Dad” all the time.

The way Dad makes an effort to find me a present just from him.

The way Dad and Mom are both obsessed with “the Young and the Restless”. It’s pretty comical.

The way Dad makes sure absolutely everything is in working order on my car before he lets me travel anywhere.

The way Mom crochets and knits me hats, gloves and scarves every winter.

The way Dad seems more concerned and excited about getting mom a good Christmas gift these past few years.

The way Mom gets excited about finding something just right for Dad as a present.

The fact that, despite quarrels, they still sleep in the same bed every night and storm through indifference. I love you Mom and Dad.