September also holds sadness for me. My dad died in the September of my 12th year of life. An unexpected, sudden death that left a lot of unanswered questions and regrets. I was in the throws of puberty, my body was all prickly and weird and my heart felt like someone took it out of my chest, jumped on it, and put it back in. I was bruised and bewildered From that point on, I loathed September. I could not wait to get it over with each year. I felt the most vulnerable during September. I looked for some degree of comfort, something, anything, anyone to heal the pain. This went on for years.
Last year, when my grandfather, my dad's dad, died in September, I shook my fist at the month and yelled, "I was beginning to tolerate you, you blasted month!" I traveled to North Carolina to attend Grandpa's funeral, a military funeral with full honors. I was in a fog of grief and honestly, I was scared. Scared of September. How absurd! How can a person be frightened by a month on the calendar? But I was. I knew that this was a set back, another sad event locked in time, in September. How would I ever make it through Septembers in the future without slipping into an emotional slump again? Would I be able to rally for my September babies' sakes? After all, to my birthday babes, September is a very special month. With the joys of birthday party planning and getting older...it's pure bliss to them. I seemed to muddle through last September and I went out of my way to make sure that our kids felt extra loved on their birthdays. Then I slammed the door at the end of the month and I did not look back at September. It was over.
Fast forward to August of this year, when I had to put some important dates and appointments on the calendar for September. I pulled up my calendar and there was September 2012 on my computer screen, looking at me. I stared back at it. It was blank, a fresh September with nothing typed into the squares. No reminders or expectations., just a blank palette. A fresh slate awaited that first click of the keyboard, my first calendar entry... I decided to type nothing for awhile and just sat there thinking, then praying. I had a conversation with God and September, and we decided that we are going to start fresh each year. Sure, there will be memories both painful and joyful, but I will not place any expectations on September. I will let it be what it wants to be. It will not dictate who I am or what I do for 30 days out of the year. I will take each day as the gift that it is and be thankful. It is the better way, I'm sure.
So, as I wrote October 1, 2012 today on a check, I realized that September had gone. It surprised me that I felt a twinge of longing for the passing month. It had been a month of many pleasant experiences and some great family times. We celebrated life around here and embraced each of the 30 days of September for what they were. Was I sad at times? Sure. Was I happy at times? Absolutely. But you know what I wasn't? I was not scared of September.