Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not Fall, Too!

I saw a gorgeous tree today with green and orange and red leaves, the first full glimpse I’ve had of fall, and it made me want to gouge my eyes out.

I thought, “Not fall, too, God! Not fall!” Because fall is my favorite time of the year with colorful leaves, the promise of a fresh start, new school supplies, pumpkins, sweater weather, and good hair days.

And truthfully, it has probably been my favorite because the other “popular” season, spring, was so brutal for so long. For me, having lost my mom in spring when I was 18, that season meant the pain of audaciously beautiful flowers, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day— a season which obnoxiously insisted on glowing every year, despite the pain it represented. The fertile promise of spring seemed wasted on me. The pungent smell of soil, which used to entice me, just reminded me of loss.

It wasn’t until 12 years ago, when Jack came along and changed everything, that I was able to reclaim Mother’s Day as a day to rejoice. Mother’s Day? I was now a MOM! What an honor. What a privilege. And over the years, experiencing spring through the eyes of the kids, of buds and blossoms and rain puddles, I was able to enjoy the season again, too. Spring was Jack’s birthday, but was also my rebirth.

But now? Fall sucks. And Back to School? Not ever going to be a time of rejoicing for me, I don’t think.

So what does that leave me with? Summer? In Virginia? With frizzy hair, mosquitoes, humidity, and kids playing in the street late into the night, but not my kid? Of family vacations with one extra space in the room, on the couch, and at the table?

Or winter. Are you kidding me? Don’t even get me started on the short, bleak days, the ice storms, and…Christmas.

So the seasons and the cycles and all the things that make us look forward in anticipation? I’m not feeling it. At least not today. That glorious tree seems like a personal affront.

50 comments:

Child of God said...

Hi Anna,
Oh hon, I am just aching for you. Please know I am praying often. Only God can come in and comfort you. Right now is time for mourning. Mourning your precious son, the seasons, your mom. But do know there will be re-birth and hope and joy. Right now, snuggle up in God's lap and allow Him to minister to you.

Praying and praying for you and your family.
<><

Loukia said...

I ache with you, and would feel exactly the same way. You're all in my thoughs and prayers. Every single day.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I would assume everything feels like a personal affront. I'm so sorry Anna.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. Memorial Day is my gut punch. Wishing you moments of peace...

Meredith Self said...

With every colored leaf that falls to the ground, may there be prayers and love and comfort and hope for a rebirth of sorts. Sending so much love, Anna. So much.

A Speckled Trout said...

My guess is that you must be acutely feeling and embracing more than your fair share of everything, but I bet the leaves on those Virginia trees will fall a little sooner this year as they weep with you for what could have been.

Momastery said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for being so honest here.

love you.

Lady Jennie said...

sigh.

I can't say anything else. I wish I could take away your ache.

But thank you for writing, for sharing. I can't explain why it would be precious to me and everyone else, but it is.

the girls said...

Anna, I know that there is nothing that I can say to ease your pain. I am praying fervently that our God will reveal Himself to you time and time again through this season of the year and of your life. That when fall comes again, although I know you will still feel the ache, maybe you will be reminded of the grace He revealed to you. Just know that there is a complete stranger in Central Florida praying for you each day.

ella said...

I've sat here for 30 minutes trying to say what I feel, but I can't get it out just right. This is why I don't blog.

I'm so sorry, Anna. My heart hurts for you and your family.

Leslie said...

Each day the weather makes me think of you and how it must make you feel. Any weather must be effecting, as your friend Kate said, EVERYTHING must be an affront.

I keep praying for the peace that passes all understanding for you - not just peace, but the one He said PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING. He said it, He said He'd offer it, so I'm begging Him to live up to this and give it to you.

PeachPrenni said...

Anna,
I am crying as I write this. I have cried quite a bit today. I actually wanted to send you a personal note this morning but don't have your email. It has been raining here in Georgia all day. And it has made me think of Jack. I have been so glum over this wonderful boy whom I never met. And I think of you--more tears. I don't know how any of this is supposed to help you by the way. I'm sorry. I guess I just wanted you to know that I'm sharing your heartache and you're not alone.
Annie P.

vegan eden said...

You are human,
your pain is real and justified...
as is your anger,
the colored leaves mirror the kaleidoscope of emotions you must be experiencing,
you have inspired us all with your strength,
keep putting one foot in front of the other,
we cannot remove the sadness,
we can only listen and share.

Leah said...

Hi Anna, I just wanted you to know that there is another mom who lost a precious son who is praying for you and sharing your grief. There are no words of wisdom I have for you or comfort that will make you feel better. But know that if you ever need an ear or someone to talk to I am here. My 15 year old son passed away 5 years ago from a brain hemorrhage of sorts. The pain is never ending and unimaginable still. I also have a daughter who was 11 at the time and is now 16. We are part of a club that no one wants to belong to and one we wouldn't wish on anyone else. Without the assurance and love of Christ we would have no hope. I am here for you in any way. I pray for strength to get through each day and for your family to stick together during this time of great sorrow and pain.

Amy said...

Anna--Your family is in my thoughts and prayers every day. I too hope that you can experience a peace beyond understanding. I hope that our prayers are a balm; I know that they cannot take it all away.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel like what I'm reading isn't even real. At first glance of your home page, everything looks the same. The header, the comical tagline, the pale blue bird stationed between posts about the kids or a piece of dated furniture that you planned on giving a proper "Can't Buy Me Love" Ronald Miller makeover. And then reality hits. And I hate it. I HATE that all of that had to change for you.

Life seems so tangible and easily adapted until we lose someone we live for. I physically get a pulling feeling in my chest when I think about you and your family.

Most of us never had the joy of meeting Jack. But now, through you, his mom, we are getting to know him. I feel so lucky to be part of this online family (albeit anonymously) and learning about his quirks, his undercover sense of humor, his love for God and his family and getting a peek into his extraordinarily close connection with Margaret.

You are surrounded with people who love you and are here to gently help you walk along this broken path. Day by day, season by season.

Love, prayers and a chorus of "my butt"s to you, Anna.

And tell that tree to pipe down and stop being so damn cheery.

Ann Imig said...

Curse on your blog, curse at the seasons, just get it out.

This is way too big to keep inside.

Ali Richardson said...

Hi Anna,
My name is Ali and I am a friend of Cassie's at Primitive & proper. I don't really have anything magical to say, I just thought I would comment to say hello and to say how sorry I am for the loss of your sweet boy. My eyes fill with tears every time I come to your blog, but I can't stop coming here. I knoe me reading your blog, doesn't really reach you, but maybe if you knew how much you were reaching me, you would keep writing and releasing. I don't really know where I'm going with this. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with you Anna.

Anonymous said...

Ali speaks for so many of us Anna. You are reaching and teaching more than you know.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Let's face it, everything is going to be tinged, no wait, smacked with pain and bitterness for a time to come. Because he's not here, and because Jack loved/hated/thrived on/sang along with/watched/laughed at.

I get some of what you're saying because my mom died on Thanksgiving. I choose to think of the 30 Thanksgivings I had with her instead of the many more, now 20 I haven't. But I get that it's different with your child.

And I still viciously and heartwrenchingly miss my mom at other moments...still. I still cry for her.

You're already sharing happy memories, and that's a good thing. I'm still laughing at "my butt," but my husband has convinced me that using it could cost me my job. So I'm just thinking it, a lot.

In the book Ordinary People, another damned spot on fiction book about grief, Conrad at one point is thinking of his brother who has died and he laughs at a memory. And it's the first time the laughter isn't followed by a great tidal wave of grief. He is aware of that. Those moments will come for you, and it's not disloyal to Jack to want them.

They will happen in every season and on every holiday.

Until then and even during them, you will be held.

Jack. I'm still calling out his name.

Karol said...

How I wish that I could say that everything you've described here will not be so. Jalayne went to heaven on September 7th and the fall is painful beyond words. Back to school, the changing leaves, the smell of apples and pumpkins, it all reminds us of the time when we buried our sweet little girl. And honestly, every season brings it's share of sorrow. Winter brings the holidays that just are not the same without her. Spring brings reminders of new life and outdoor activity which she should be a part of. And summer......summer brings horrid reminders of drowning death. And so it is that grief and sorrow and sadness becomes a part of life. The key, dear Anna, is to learn that sorrow and joy can coexist.

http://lovinglaynee.blogspot.com/2010/11/co-existence.html

Keep writing. It will help you to make sense of the many things your heart has to say.

Praying for you and your family

Lisa G. said...

This is just awful......thank you for sharing Jack and your family and your grief with us who do not even know you in real life.

May God please wrap His arms around you and Margaret and Tim and bring you peace and understanding, and just His Presence when nothing else seems there..

Love and prayers......

Anonymous said...

i'm drawn to your blog every day now and I, like others, feel as if i've gotten to know you, margaret and most of all jack from what your recent postings. the recent video of margaret and jack in the back seat of your car - so playful and fun - i laughed out loud when i heard them laughing. you have a friend on cape cod thinking of you daily and praying my heart out that you find the strength in the days ahead. i assure you in time life will get easier. We will all forever remember your dahling Jack. xoxo Patty

Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna, Anna, Anna

May God bring you peace

katrynka said...

So many have said things much more eloquently than I can. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing so that we can all pray for you.

I cannot imagine your pain, as I was never able to have a child. Mother's Day and so many other situations and events remind me of what I do not have, can never have. My guess is that is the same for you in terms of the sometimes random things that bring you pain, but so much more pervasive and sharp than the pain of someone who has not had a child.

Linda said...

As though in one moment, all the color were sucked from your world, leaving it a bleak place. I am aching for you as I pray.

Anonymous said...

Anna, When my son Andrew died (in July)one of my heartbreaks was thinking about Christmas stockings. Every morning I would sit on my couch, facing the fireplace, and have my quiet time with God. All I could envision was the mantle with the missing Christmas stocking of my son. The stockings were special. Each one was handmade by me, with a special design that represented the ornament collection that I had lovingly bought for the kids to save and then take with them when they left home. Andrew's theme was "trains" and being our only son meant that his was the only boy ornament on our tree. I didn't know how I could face the empty space. After much tears and agony, I decided that in honor of our precious boy, I would hang his stocking up each year. For the past 13 years Andrew's stocking has hung by his sister's. And the trains? Well, I continue to buy them each year in memory of him. His sisters will one day take those trains and add them to their own trees. One day they will pass down to my grandsons and they will hear the story of the little boy who forever changed our lives. Sending love and prayers to you, Anna. Asking God to show you how to honor Jack's memory in a way that brings you comfort.

Deb
djosherwood@comcast.net

Law Momma said...

Wish I had magic words. I think of you often, lifting you up with every thought. Long distance hugs.

Stimey said...

I can't imagine how hard every new thing is. I am so sorry.

Kara said...

So sorry that all of your favorite things won't be the same. We are still praying for you, and my kids ask how you're doing almost daily. We have also added 'my butt' to our vocabulary.

for a different kind of girl said...

I wish I could tell you that days like the ones you describe here would not hurt, but I'm in no position to do so. I do, however, hope for the day when something like this strikes you and you remember Jack in that moment and smile or even laugh, and feel that it's OK to have done so. I imagine he very much wanted to make you happy and proud, and you were, and I honestly believe he knows when you will be and it will make him smile.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers everyday Anna!

Leah C said...

Words fail me...except to say I am so very sorry. My heart aches for your ache. Prayers & more prayers...

meghann said...

I wish there were something I could say. But there isn't. Just know that I'm listening, and so are a lot of other people. xo

Anonymous said...

This year, Anna, let the leaves fall like tears, each one in honor of Jack.

Anonymous said...

I find myself here everyday, mourning with you, I hope these comments bring you some comfort, just to know that so many of us are sharing your grief and not forgetting you and Jack.

Anonymous said...

Every new thing...every old thing....every darn thing. I'm so sorry that there is a new pang at almost every turn for you guys. Grief is so complex but completely normal and very necessary. Wishing you moments of peace and joy with hugs and prayers!

MarkL said...

Oh grief is such a terrible thing...But it's a true thing also, and there are not enough tears to express it fully. The whole world should be crying for Jack. And if they knew what we do, they would be.

I suppose the tears shed for Jack already could form a river bigger than the one that took him away from us. And though the expression of it seems inexhaustible today, I hope you will not think too much now of the future.

This is the moment to cry and lament. Your openness helps us do that with you. It's all we can do, so we do it.

Christy said...

I can only imagine. Ugh. I thought the same thing on the first crisp cool day here - how unfair that Jack didn't get to feel the air. I'm sorry, Anna. I wish I had something more inspiration to say. Just know you're in my thoughts and prayers all the time. All four of you. HUGS.

Anonymous said...

Anna, you are giving us glimpses into the difficulty of how living with your loss affects day to day living--a place few of us dare to venture in our imaginations; it's too terrifying. I don't know how any of this is going to get any easier for you and your family, but I know that it has to. It just has to. And in the meantime, I wish I could somehow help by magically transporting you to, I don't know, southern California, where it's just stupidly sunny all the time, in an effort to lessen the pain the changing seasons and their accompanying rituals bring. I'd do it in a heartbeat.

jbhat

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I am soo far away from you but feel your pain so closely. I wish I could hug you and bring a smile to your face. You are strong. Give it time.

Anonymous said...

thinking of you and your family on this rainy fall day in Vienna. Hang in there!!

Anonymous said...

I cannot even fathom the ache you must feel every day. Praying for strength and peace.

booksandcandy said...

I have similar feelings. I love fall and was over joyed to find out out baby would be due on or around October 13! We lost that baby in April. Now somedays when I see that the leaves are changing, I feel like I want to glue my feet to the ground to keep time from marching on. I would pass on my blog but I can never remember the address when I am using my phone. I hold you in my heart and don't know what else to say.

Anonymous said...

Came to your blog through a friend. My heart aches with yours. I know what you mean about that damn tree and its colors. For me it was the cherry blossoms. I never wanted to see another one. For a long time, those blossoms seemed like they were dancing in my face, taunting me with their beauty and delicate pinkness. Wish I knew what to write to give you respite from the pain.

agent99 said...

I've been following your blog since Jack's accident. You give me faith and inspire me......just continuing to draw breath after losing Jack is victory. I wish we could roll back time and keep him safe from harm....your post today reminds me of two things. 1) I hate Mothers Day. One of my children is profoundly handicapped......having to change the diPer of a 14 yr old, on a day that I should be celebrating is just unbearably painful for me. 2) when am unimaginable loss occurs, you climb under the covers and never come out........or you can face the pain and do the best you can each day. I chose to face the day. Sometimes I suck at it. But reading your blog."and knowing that you chose to get out of bed empower me to do it too. Keep sharing with us..the good, the horrible....whatever. Just get out of bed every doy, OK?

Jen said...

I feel like I need to tell you that you are truly AMAZING. Sitting there writing - beautifully writing - about your grief, your faith, your strength, your precious family...it is both heartbreaking and inspiring for me to read. Please know that you are so often in my thoughts and prayers and that your story has touched me deeply. I wish there was something I could say to take your pain away, but I know God is mindful of you and will hold you in His love.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Anna, so sorry.

If you can, only if you can, please keep yourself open to the beauty of Autumn and the beauty of things in general... You need it, your soul needs it. Any slight slither of comfort that can be found, you need it. Please bear in mind what another poster said; that sorrow and joy can co-exist, eventually.

If my comment is untimely, if it is outright wrong, I take it back and apologise. I'd hate to write a comment that upsets you.

You, your husband, your daughter, have suffered awful, sudden loss. You deserve some relief from this terrible pain.

I'm so sorry...

Sending you love.

Kristin Timmerman said...

This reminds me SO MUCH of Nichole Nordeman's "Every Season." I encourage you to download and listen:

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
For what was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

--

Prayers for you and the family. I've been deeply moved by your story this evening.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Prayers, prayers, prayers.
-Kristin-

scs said...

I totally get it. My mother died in September when I was 11, and Mother's Day notwithstanding (wretched holiday) :) fall was always the worst.

Thank you for the honesty of this blog and for sharing; I'm so sorry for your loss.