September 23, 2008

Season Of The Pumpkin

Simply put, I love fall. I love everything about it. I love the cooler weather and the glorious colors that burst to life with the changing of the leaves. I love sweaters, fire places and high school football games. But, above all else, I love pumpkins. From the miniature variety to the fabulous "Cinderella" to the giant-hoping-to-break-the-world-record contender - I love them all. Just to see a pumpkin patch makes me giddy.

Our poor family is all too familiar with my pumpkin fetish. They all know that come fall our home will be decked out from head to toe in its most festive pumpkin attire. Each year I buy a new pumpkin to add to my collection. The collection runs the gambit from porcelean to wood to paper mache.

Over the years I have even put forth my best effort to instill my love of the pumpkin in my nephew and niece. Each year they come to the house a week or so before Halloween and we carve a pumpkin and maybe bake a few cookies. My niece adores the process of scraping the inside of the pumpkin clean. She digs in with both hands, working away until not a string remains. My nephew on the other hand is completely disgusted by it. He stands back with a look on his face as if he is witnessing the bloodiest of surgeries. Once she has it cleaned and prep'd he is ready for the artistry to begin! We carve our masterpiece and then strike a pose with it - another pumpkin carving photo for the memory book.

There are some who might accuse me of being a little obsessed with the pumpkin. And I do readily admit a pumpkin patch makes me terribly happy. And, yes, I won't deny that I have invented an entire new season in honor of the pumpkin. But unlike a highly misunderstood boy with a blanket you'll never find me in a field holding a sign that reads "Welcome Great Pumpkin" far as you know.

September 18, 2008

May the circle be unbroken...

They say each day is a lesson in living and the past few months have certainly proven the theory to be true.

July - The days of July were spent as if we were caught in a vacuum - a vacuum where fear of the unknown lurked behind every doctor's door, a myriad of appointments and tests and test results. A surgical attempt to stop an evil intruder - but with this surgery came machines and tubes and the slow departure a beautiful soul from this earth. The finality was a punch in the stomach.

July also brought to light the mysterious stranger who has been lurking in my body for many years. That familiar tingling and burning and twitching now has a name - multiple sclerosis.

August - Days of sorting through the remains of two people's lives. He had been gone for almost three years though the house would have never told you so. Each shirt, and pant, and belt, and shoe still remained in the closet. His comb and razor remained in the vanity. And now she is gone and we are left with the task of dispersing/disposing of (not sure what to call it) what remains of their time on this earth. It is surreal. It is heart breaking. It is wrong. It is a slap in the face that reminds one of their own immortality and how insignificant our time on this earth really is. And through it all the evil intruder remained with us - living inside another precious loved one.

August 21st - Her departure came much quicker than we anticipated. We had watched the cancer slowly work its evil on her for weeks. It was as if she became smaller and weaker every day. But her will was strong and she never acknowledged what she was sure to know. She developed a huge appetite and ate fried chicken up until the end. She left us early in the morning - hopefully Aunt Beth was right there waiting on her - ready to have a sweet roll and a cup of coffee.

Over a six week period we lost them both - two sisters with a fierce bond - one of them a devoted Aunt and the other a Mother, Grandmother and Mother-in-law. They left us with lessons of love and family and friendship - I could go on and on but basically they helped form who we are and how we will choose to live our lives.

September - oh sweet September. News that we will be experiencing the joy of new life. Our daughter Jessica and her husband Cory are expecting their first child. A child who will allow us the opportunity to love in a manner we have never known before. It is bitter sweet - to experience such grief in such a short time and then receive such a blessing from God. We will shower our first grandchild with unconditional love. There will be wonderful times filled with laughter and fun - just like the times Aunt Beth and Mimi spent with Cody, Jessica, Haley and Bryan. The circle goes on...