Tuesday, September 14, 2010

letting summer go

the orchard

This summer was difficult. Andy's mom, who had been ill with cancer, was in hospice care and there was lots of travelling back and forth from Massachusetts to Maryland. Sometimes the whole family but mostly Andy going back-and-forth, back-and-forth all summer long. It was difficult for us to find any sort of a workable rhythm and the children were showing the effects of the disruption. There was a lot to deal with both practically and emotionally and it was a challenge to meet everyone's needs. More truthfully, it was a challenge to attempt to meet everyone's needs. In the middle of this we took our family vacation to Cape Cod. The beach usually acts like a salve to help heal us and smooth out the rough bits but after so much upheaval the children were out of sorts and we all just wanted to be at home.

Even though we were graced with beautiful weather we had a bit of a "Summer That Wasn't". There was far to little swimming and picnics and absolutely no camping, canoeing or fishing. We managed to pick strawberries on the last possible day and then just gobbled them up out of hand. We'll have to beg some jam from friends for the winter. The summer just went by too quickly.

Andy's mom passed peacefully in her daughter's home surrounded by family and friends. The beauty of Jewish funeral traditions helped us all to process her death while being supported by friends and family. We miss her so much and often forget that she is not with us in body but only in spirit. I know our sadness is only for us - because we want to spend more time with her, because we wanted another 20 years at least; but she had a beautiful and fulfilled life. She was a hub of community and family, raised two amazing children and was happily married for almost 40 years. She loved and was loved and will be so dearly missed.

I sit here in mid September wondering were my Summer went. Here in New England we really need to make Summer count in a big way if we are going to get through the cold season. I didn't store up enough sunshine this year but I am going to have to make it last. This summer was hard but it was important. It taught us more about love and life and death and family then we knew before. It showed me what an amazing Man, Son, Brother, Husband and Father Andy is and reminded me countless times how proud I am of him and how blessed I am to have him as my partner in life. It brought family closer together and reminded us that a thick slathering of Love helps a lot no matter the problem. And that often Love is all we have to offer and that it is enough.

This was an important summer even if it looked different from most summers and so if there isn't enough jam in the pantry or berries in the freezer we'll deal with in. Right now I am letting Summer go. I've got wool on my needles that is starting to look like a scarf and the wood is stacked. I'm opening my heart to slippers and soup and books by the fire. And tea. I'm going to need a lot of tea.


Christa said...

Hi Gillian - so sorry your summer sounded so hard. Just wanted to let you know that I read all of your posts and love your insight, ideas and the inspiration you provide. I'm still reading so keep up the great work, glad to have you back!

Gillian said...

Thank you Christa. Sometimes life get so quick that I don't spend much time here on the blog but when I do it truly helps me put things into better perspective so I hope to share more posts soon.