Monday, September 28, 2009


I've had a love/hate relationship with Autumn for about 20 years now. The cooler weather, the blue skies, the wind whipping through the beautiful colored leaves on the trees... all of these things appeal to that part of me that craves an aesthetic beauty in my life. I don't just like to LOOK at Autumn. I NEED it, on some level that I don't understand, and have decided to no longer question that desire. Nor will I allow myself to feel guilty for it.

Autumn is also the time of year that is hardest and saddest for me. As most of you know, if you're here reading, I lost my mother on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1990. That entire Autumn was spent in a crazy jumble of emotions, as I watched my beloved mother waste away, while at the same time trying to nurture the tiny little life growing inside me. Despair generally won the battle, and, as November drew closer that year, I bundled myself way up inside myself and pointedly turned OFF any pleasure that I might otherwise have gained from Autumn's beauty.

In the years since my mother died, I've felt the approach of Autumn with a mixture of hope, and dread. Mostly dread. I've not let myself enjoy this most beautiful of all the seasons, choosing to believe that it should be a time of remembrance... and grief. I've all but PLANNED an emotional breakdown each year, and let myself wallow in a tumultuous pit of longing and anger and self-pity.

My heart... my SOUL... is tired of grieving. Nineteen years is long enough. Is it wrong to feel this way? I don't think so. I think my mother has probably spent the last several years, hands on hips, shaking her head in disapproval at my stubborn refusal to let it go.

I want to enjoy the sights of Autumn! I want to put on a sweatshirt, go for a walk, and sit and watch the leaves fall. I want to SMELL the season, I want to taste it, I want to FEEL it!

Toward that end, I hereby give myself permission to do the following, this Autumn:

  1. I will enjoy the sights, sounds, smells of this 2009 Autumn season.
  2. I will remember and love my wonderful mother, without guilt, without grief, and without despair.
  3. I look forward to and participate in Thanksgiving Day, and I will give thanks, for each good thing in my life, past and present.
  4. I will forgive God.
There have been lot of changes in my life this year. And while I will save THAT story for another post, I will say this:

The times, they are a' changin'. And Melody... She is a' changin', too.