I woke up this morning and turned on the news…the first thing I heard from the newscasters was that today is the first day of Fall. I yelled to Tom and told him, his response was, “that sucks.”
I see them at the playground, Anna running around the play structure with her best friend and Abigail sitting on the picnic table with her friends. The air is starting to change, the leaves are starting to turn yellow and both girls are wearing things that keep them warm instead of tank tops and shorts.
The smell in the air is that of Fall, our favorite season. Abigail asks about Halloween decorations and whether or not we can really do it up this year and making it super scary. Anna sits at the table drawing pumpkins, hearts and houses ~one picture she entitled “Dream House.”
I find caramel sauce at the grocery store and buy it without hesitation. Apples and caramel are a favorite snack during this time of year. I look at the calendar and mark the weekends we can go to the pumpkin patch, weekends when our family is whole and all sleeping under the same roof. We pray that on those weekends there is good weather.
With the leaves changing colors our street changes shape. There is a rainbow made from the different colors hanging off the limbs that creates a canopy as your drive to our house, we can drive either direction. Abigail is on the front porch trying to hang the giant spider, one of her favorite decorations. Anna begs to go see the even bigger spider on her teachers house, “you know the one that is eating the person and is on the way to Tami’s house.”
A crock pot meal is cooking and as we enter the house all of our mouths start to water. The house is cozy and we are blessed.
Fall is here and my heart hurts. These memories along with so many others from the Fall of 2013 are my most vivid and are sometimes the memories that hurt the most. I feel like it was just yesterday that Anna ran into the room to show us she could read a page all by herself in her favorite book. She was so excited, we were so excited for her. I long to hear her read the entire book, which I know she would be able to do by now.
Yesterday I sat in the landing, the room between Anna and Abigail’s bedrooms, with my eyes closed just remembering and re-living these moments over and over again. Tears, lots of tears came because when I open my eyes the reality of my life is always the same ~ they’re gone and what I have is only memories of a beautiful Fall day, crisp air, apples with caramel and girls excited about what they will be that year at Halloween, Anna a witch in a purple and black striped stockings and Abigail a zombie bunny.
We are preparing our hearts the best we know how but our favorite season is also our most difficult season and, like everything else, it will come and bring with it so many memories, both beautiful and hard.
I’ve been told often, and I have told others many times in the past, that God only gives us what we can handle. I always thought that was a comforting statement thinking that only the strong can endure great pain or loss.
I know now that this is not a true statement because I can’t handle this ~ no one can handle this or be expected to. I am not strong at all and for that reason I have to rely completely on God to lift me from my chair as I sit and cry, because I don’t see how this gets better. He wants me to rely on my faith in Him and my unconditional love for my girls to help me live this life. He wants me to lean on Him and when I do He holds me ~ He always holds me and reassures me of His love for me and for my family.
When I can’t bear the season that is upon us He reminds me that I have survived 702 days because I have relied on His love, His joy and His grace. I need Him because I can’t handle it alone, no one can.
I close my eyes and He brings me to a moment where my memories are the most vivid and He reassures me that even in the midst of my deep suffering there is joy. He shows me joy in these smiles that I will never forget and will always have!