This is a sorrowful month for me. My father, many years ago, died, right in the full swing of Autumn, the most glorious of seasons in the North. Then my dearest of friends, Marge Chester died unexpectedly the other day. They were both wonderful and similiar people in many ways. This is just a little letter of love to them, now so gone.
This month of your death so many years ago –feeling like a blurred yesterday—you would have loved this month, this glorious autumn.
The drought of the past few years has made the colors brilliant, longstanding. I can’t remember a fall season, now sliding into the earliest of winter, so beautiful. The reds of the maples are like the slashes of summer’s red cardinals, the oranges and golden leaves, bushes, long grasses as vibrant, as glowing as the sun refracting off broken glass in the grass. The air is brushed clean with strong seasonal rains, a further blessing after a dry summer.
But the winds! They come out of the north, like bellows, or a bull bellowing. They blow everything before them, and trees, these large pecan and live oak so prominent in the south, are like swaying troupes of dancers. When this happens at dusk, before the heat of the day cools, when the sky darkens and there is a roiling of clouds in a balmy sky, the winds come marching in like Storm troopers and this spectacle of nature is awesome, fear inspiring.
Thanksgiving was too warm for our holiday: 60 degrees; there is something wrong about this. Pleasant, but wrong. Better a cold dreary rain. I’ve been playing Copeland, conducted by your buddy Lennie, and I thought you would be pleased. At least the music follows tradition if our weather won’t.
I miss you so much. It took years for me to understand why. I only hope I can be as generous and loving to my own child as you were to me. I didn’t appreciate you then. It took years for me to understand. But you were, are….loved deeply by me. All the cousins and remaining dear aunt say I take after you. I couldn’t be more pleased with that opinion. Dear Aunt Jean was reading a letter from you from 1943, when you were up to your eyeteeth in WWII. She said she could well understand where I got my writing ‘skills’ from. I hope she will share your letter.
I still can’t get my head around your death. We were talking the night before for Christ’s sake!
You died in the same month as my dear father. You were born in the same month as my dear father. But the strongest commonality here is you had such a gentle generosity to you, such a love of life and good, Talmudic wisdom. LOL! We would joke about that last thing, as I knew how much you were bent in life in dividing the wheat from the chaff. And because of how you looked at life, you lived a beautiful one. I haven’t been able to ‘properly’ mourn yet, sweetie. That first hour of sobs scared me, as you know how I react to death, but I think the grief will come: it just hasn’t sunk in yet.
You were my rock and my best friend. Now I have to write to your mate, and I can’t get my words straight. But I do have them in my heart, but I just can’t yet believe t they are needed. I don’t believe you are gone.
In time, I will know but for now, I am holding you close to me, remembering the sound of your voice, and the years of compassion and solace…and good wisdom, from many streams.