I have been short on words for the blog lately. I’ve sat down to write multiple times and just come up with nothing. My mind has been preoccupied with several things lately, and I found myself knee-deep in them with little room to think of other things or other people. I don’t like being in that place – although it has happened a lot this year. Thankfully, this week I’m a little bit clearer in my mind.
I have plenty of things to share and sure enough a lot is happening at home, at work, with Jack, with Tommy, and with me. But I feel quiet. My family and friends around me a lot may disagree 🙂 but feeling quieter lately.
I realized the other day that this is the first year of my life where I am not looking forward to fall. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. And usually I am so ready for summer to be over that I start getting ready for fall as soon as reasonably possible. I wear jeans and boots, put up fall decorations, start wearing sweaters, and get geared up for all of the fun there is in the fall – hay rides, raking leaves, bonfires, pumpkin spice everything, pumpkin muffins, the mountains, the colors, etc. This year I haven’t thought about fall at all. In fact, I was even caught off guard by days recently that felt like fall. In my mind I was thinking that it couldn’t possibly be fall yet. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t even looking forward to fall this year.
I think it’s because this whole year I have focused on the summer. I never made it passed the summer in my mind. With my due date of May 26th, and May being our special month I had built that month up, and then tried to prepare myself as best as possible for what would come next – be it a baby at home with us for a little while or no baby to bring home. I was so thankful that we made it to May with Gabriel. That was a gift. Then he was born, then he died, then we came home from the hospital and life continued on. We did summer. We did summer, and life, as best as we could – the best way we knew how or could muster having lost a child. It wasn’t the best summer. It wasn’t a great summer. And in fact, we didn’t even get to do the things we wanted to do, the things we thought we would do, because of my health problems. We had to shift our plans and our thinking yet again. But we survived. We made it through the summer, and now we’re on the other side and I have no clue what we’re doing.
I never planned for fall in my head. I never got further than the summer. I never made any plans of what we’d do or how we’d get through the fall or the winter or the spring. And now the seasons are changing, and it seems to just reaffirm that Gabriel isn’t here with us and life continues to just move on. We don’t get to do fall with him. And quite frankly, I have no clue how to do my favorite season with a broken heart.
It also feels as if the season of Gabriel will come to a close if we move on into fall. And I think that is the biggest reason that I am fighting fall. This whole year has been about Gabriel. I had him at the beginning of the summer, and summer was our time to remember him, celebrate him, and mourn our loss of him. Now we are faced with the challenge of moving on yet again and finding ways to honor him in every season. I certainly will accept that challenge, but my heart is having a hard time letting go. Letting go of the hot days and warm nights that were spent crying out. Letting go of the days of the sun beating down on us as we stood on his grave at the cemetery. Letting go of the ever-present sunshine that seemed to bring cheer to the gloomiest days of our lives. Letting go of the freedom of summer that allowed us to be a little more relaxed and to freely mourn. And now we must usher in the days of fall. The cooler, crisper, lovely days that signal a change in season for the weather and for our lives. We’ve mourned the death of our son for more than a third of a year now. Grief is a funny thing, the way it is, and we continue to learn more the more we walk in it. The changing of the seasons brings on more grief in itself, but I can’t help but believe that God designed it that way for a reason. So we continue on, and this year I reluctantly accept that fall is coming, if not already here.
I finally took my summer wreath off my door yesterday, and replaced it with a fall decoration. It took me awhile, and is my first step forward in accepting fall.