I Guess That Is What Autumn Means?

  • 4 Comments

When poets, musicians and bards speak of the seasons, they speak of the cycle of life. Birth, life, death. The never ending cycle that none with a soul and a heartbeat can avoid.

I like to think of autumn in philosophical ways as I crunch the leaves under my feet. Ah yes, the earth must turn. The leaves must turn brown. My hair must turn gray.

But really, autumn isn’t quite just a philosophical thing for me anymore. I guess as years go by I have racked up painful scarred notches on my soul. Reminders. Injuries that push me from the figurative to the literal.

We are just a week away from the Thanksgiving holiday, and I am reminded that the anniversary of my father’s birth is also next week. He always favored an apple pie for his birthday, which occasionally fell on the actual day of Thanksgiving.

It has been almost nine years since he passed, and this autumn day has caused me to think of my father, and the deep well of sadness that I will likely not ever recover from.

His death broke something inside of me. Resolve? Courage? Strength? I don’t know. I do know that in the wake of his passing, I cry a lot easier. I get sad a lot more quickly. I grieve more profoundly. And I love with gusto because time is always ticking away. The world does not stop turning. The leaves cannot help but turn brown.

Today, when coworkers casually passed me in the hallway and asked, “How was your weekend?” by way of making small talk, my answer couldn’t be the usual “Fine, and you?” Sure, I said that a few times. And a few other times I said, “Actually, I had quite a terrible weekend.”

It’s true, but not everyone wants or cares about the truth when crossing paths in the break room on the way to the coffee machine on a Monday morning. Lying is hard for me.

My precious Feline is sick. A few months ago we knew she was sick but it didn’t seem terminal. Two months later and it’s not good. She spent the weekend at a pet hospital where too many people grabbed at her and poked needles in her and she wasn’t at home with her humans.

She’s home now, and that helps. They sent us home with bags full of medications and regimens. We cannot cure her, we can only make the symptoms a little less awful.

The prognosis is tough to make. She may live another year. She may only live until tonight. I have no idea.

But the clock is ticking. As I watch her lose weight and refuse to eat I know that the specter of death looms large. As large at the oak trees that line my residential street, spilling their leaves and showing me their skeletons.

This is autumn. As sure as I am not ready for pumpkin spice lattes, I’m also not ready for what this autumn has in store.





Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth




Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.




About Author

Comments

  • Sandy Varro

    Karen,

    I am so sorry to hear about your cat. It is strange that I read your post tonight because as my son and I were lying in bed studying for his test tomorrow one of our cats jumped up to lay between us and he said it is going to be so sad when they aren’t with us anymore. They are both fine, but for some reason he was thinking of life without them. I will send positive thoughts your way.

    Another thing in your post really touched me. It was you describing how after nine years that you still have a deep well of sadness regarding the loss of your Dad. It has been 4 1/2 years since I lost my Dad and eight years since we knew he was going to die. He died of ALS and the moment he was told the diagnosis it was a slow death sentence. I miss him terribly and I don’t know how to describe it but your words around “His death broke something inside of me. Resolve? Courage? Strength? I don’t know. I do know that in the wake of his passing, I cry a lot easier. I get sad a lot more quickly. I grieve more profoundly. And I love with gusto because time is always ticking away. The world does not stop turning. The leaves cannot help but turn brown.” sum things up pretty nicely. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I really connected with your post. Thanks for sharing even if it did make me think about myself and make me sad. ;) Hang in there…….have a slice of apple pie on his special day.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Hi Sandy – Thank you so much for your comment, it helps to know that other people understand what I’m talking about. It’s tough because we’re in that era of life where friends are losing parents. As it happens, I know what they are about to go through, and I wish I could somehow make it smoother or easier.

      But as you and I both know, something breaks, but I guess it has to break.

      And interesting to hear about your son and worrying about the cats. I think sometimes kids think really hard about death and dying. I know I did.

  • Frank

    I like it that you love with gusto. That’s probably better than to love with reticence and foreboding. Oh well.

    That’s a moving piece.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Hi Frank – Thank you for the comment and the compliment. As you can tell, I was in a real dark place when I wrote that. I tried to write it on my lunch hour at work and kept crying. Seeing as how I like to cultivate the Big Bad Ass persona at work, crying doesn’t seem to fit the model. So I dried up and finished up later at home with a glass of wine at my side. Cried. But I wrote it and it felt so much better to get it OUT than keep it in. Perhaps like draining off the venom after a real bad snakebite?

      Anyhow. It’s raining like hell today. Sort of fitting for my mood.

      Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Comments are closed.

Secured By miniOrange