November and I

November and I

November and I have always had a difficult relationship.

It began when my father died on November 19, 1984. For the next 37 years then, interspersed with other close family members dying during this same month,I have associated November with a solemn, grey, stillness. A necessity, to go through, until: destination Christmas.

But, I am rather excited to tell you, that this relationship is evolving. I noticed it first when I looked out into the backyard and saw the red berries on my spreading Hawthorne tree before I saw the bare, leafless branches. I realized then that my perspective, my very outlook on living, was changing.

I was slow to react. Which was good because it gave me a chance to think about what I had been experiencing all fall.

A whole lot of change. A new school. Less time in my home school, which I absolutely love to bits. And more time in a school whose people are like family to me.

But change, even in its goodness, can leave you vulnerable and exhausted with its moments of exhilaration. At least that is my experience and, joy of joys, I recognized it for what it was!

Much of my life, especially the last two and a half years have focused upon surviving, not living. And quite frankly, that is all you can do sometimes. But I hope, not always.

That being said, I have been trying to make things right for 37 years. Sometimes I scored, like in my 30 year relationship with Pat where his love and patience and kindness eased my fears of the unknown. I had a pretty good run.

And then I didn’t. And I haven’t.

But I saw the red before the gray this year and I cannot tell you what that means to me.

Accept to say that I saw the love, in those blood red berries, the love that I have clung to forever it seems.

Please indulge me as I list what I have been experiencing:

  • Mr. Gregory who faithfully calls me “Mrs.G”
  • My Twilight curled up on a soft pink blanket in the parlor
  • Bea looking after the neighbor’s cats
  • gorgeous, gorgeous sunrises over Weldon Street
  • Gordon Lightfoot seeing 83
  • texting with a teenager who needs my support
  • hearing my smile is and always has been”electric”
  • watching series on Netflix that are written so well they make me question a few of my beliefs
  • meeting a friend at Rosie’s Independent Grocery and discussing said series but in the same conversation acknowledging God is with us and works though those we love.

The list goes on and on. My fall has been blessed with those who know me, and still love and care for me.

And, the knowing is what it is all about. It’s the knowing that lifts the grayness to see the passions of red.

I hold the passion. Me. I have things well in hand.

In a classroom of enthusiastic, bubbling- with- life young people, I have learned to say, in a normal speaking voice, “If you can hear my voice, breathe in…” which they do and the room becomes quiet. I offer them the chance to breathe in and out three times. And it works. And I know it will.


Because I listen to my own voice now, take a few deep breaths and know that it’s going to happen, or it’s not, or it may, but in any case, it’s going to be okay.

November, I love you.

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