Thursday, October 19, 2006


"Now constantly there is the sound,
quieter than rain,
of the leaves falling.
Under their loosening bright
gold,the sycamore limbs
bleach whiter.
Now the only flowers are beeweed and aster,spray
of their white and lavender
over the brown leaves.
The calling of a crow sounds
loud-a landmark-now
that the life of summer falls
silent,and the nights grow."-Wendell Berry

Today is the fourth consecutive day of rain and I'm starting to miss the sun. It has recently begun to feel like autumn in this valley I call home. Autumn is my favorite season, I guess it always has been. Something about the cool stillness, the muted somber skies that contrast the vibrant colors of the trees resonates with me. Autumn holds lots of golden memories for me of apple picking with my family when I was little, jumping in big piles of leaves, the smell of apple cinnamon doughnuts, walking in Philadelphia and sitting in the park in my favorite sweater and gray hat, listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Autumn is the season I fell in love with Josh, and the season that every year after we got married, at least before the wee ones started arriving, he would take me on what he liked to call "romantic rendezvous." These were little camping trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway when the leaves were at their brightest and best. It is exciting for me to be able to be the first one to introduce all the beauty and wonder of Fall to my little loves.
Autumn now holds some sorrows for me as well and in these days of grayness they feel closer than ever. October four years ago we lost our very first baby, hope cut short by a still little baby on a computer screen and silence instead of a heart beat. So now every year when the leaves start to change I think of my little one that I never got to know. Then two autumn's ago were the last days I spent with my sweet dad before he died on November 8 less than three months after he was diagnosed with cancer. Before these events grief to me was a very distant concept. I realized we needed another word much more powerful than "missing someone". And the kind things that people say to you like,"time will heal, and it will get easier," for me could not have been further than the truth. After a certain amount of time you are supposed to not need to talk about it, supposed to stop hurting. Sometimes I feel like I am clinging to movie reels about to be eaten by an old projector. If I replay all those sweet memories over and over maybe they will not become fuzzy. After my dad died I read lots of books on grief. 'A Grace Disguised' by Gerald Sittser was the best. I suppose there is healing in terms of overall acceptance and peace that God's timing is perfect. But with the passing of time, for me the missing intensifies and I have learned that when you experience true grief you carry it with you always and it changes you. But even death is not without some beauty. In my brothers words "we watched the decline of our father's physical body and the absolute renewal of his spirit." My father was at times a rather distinguished English man used to formal Orthodox Presbyterian worship, but in his dying days he worshipped with complete abandon like a man who knew the end of his journey was near. His hands raised in song, tears streamed from his eyes and scripture spilled from his lips, a passion you could feel, a vision of him forever emblazened on my mind. His worship was a gift to me, and since his death my own worship has been deeper and sweeter. So now as green turns to gold and orange I think about my baby, I think about my dad I think about those things in me which need to be stripped ,that need to die, so His beauty can shine brighter.


katiek said...

Beautiful writing Linda. Write some more, when you can. I like blogs that are worth reading. I'm glad to get to know more parts of you through the good ole www.

Karen Monahan said...

Every word I type seems empty and far from enough. It feels so routine to say, "We'll be praying for you." Still... I will remember you and your loss this season in my prayers and in my heart. I love you my friend.

Michelle D said...

Your words were a gift tonight as I am up late reading. It reminds me of what I never wanted to lose with the death of my friend Tisho who was like a sister. The joy and sorrow of that relationship changed who I was. Some things have become fuzzy though, in this tough season of my life. So I've been sitting here remembering how she lived so beautifully through the pain, so grateful for every moment. I have never witnessed anyone who seemed closer to God than she did and it was so wonderful to be a part of that. I look at my babies often and I wish she could have met them. There are some sorrows I will always carry. I love Fall the most too and like dusk, which is my favorite time of the day, it passes so quickly - which makes it sweeter.

heather said...

I feel like when Dad died that I didn't fully realize what we lost. The sense of loss and the yearning for what can never be does intensify. I think of the grandchildren he was beginning to know and the little ones he will meet for the first time in heaven. I think of all the joyous possiblilties had God granted him more time on this earth - he and Caleb fishing, him showing Adelane how to draw a cat without lifting his pencil, picking flowers with Eden, pushing Lily in her swing, singing to the new little one forming in my womb . . .
I think of the man who shaped my life that my children will never really know, I think of their loss.
And I think of mine. Of how a fuller understanding of him was given only after his death and the longing to have just one more chance to be with him, to love him . . .
somehow, along with the loss I feel that who I am as a person is more. I feel that I see things more deeply, and love more deeply, give of myself more freely and cling to precious moments a little longer. During these golden days of Autumn how can my heart help but to turn to my father, the pain that I carry a little closer ro the surface as memories and yearnings crowd my heart.

Knowing your pain is similar, and praying that our Heavenly Father will touch your heart with His tenderness

linda said...

thanks for the feedback guys. and michelle, so glad these words could encourage you, it must be so hard adjusting to everything so far away, but hey i've found blogging can be kind of theraputic in the life of a stay at home mom. hope you are doing well,so glad you will have family there soon.