Thursday, October 27, 2011

When October Goes

My daughter was born in Seattle, and was just four when we moved -- first to the Caribbean, and then to Las Vegas.

So it shouldn't have surprised me when this 18-year old girl said this morning, "Look at the leaves falling off our tree! that why they call it 'fall'?"

Today she also realized that Downy fabric softener was intended to evoke images of soft, downy feathers.  It really was a beautiful journey of discovery for her.

I love fall.  I was always so excited for the first day of school, a feeling I got over by the second day of school.  I loved watching the trees change color, loved the slantedness of the sunlight as the earth tilted just enough to add a nip to the air and frost on the grass, loved the dusty smell of the furnace starting up for the first time since March.

That has never changed.

But fall has also taken on a patina of introspection and melancholy since my dad died two years ago.  And I've been surprised at how difficult it has been to move back to Utah, to a ward where he once served as Bishop, surrounded by people who knew him -- who had their own stories to tell about him, their own memories.

After the funeral, I was able to return to Las Vegas, where my father's passing was something for which folks offered sincere condolences and then moved on.  I thought I had escaped the stories, the memories, the looks of sadness on the faces of my neighbors.

Instead, it all came two years later...

Monday, October 24, my dad would have been 69.  The words that go with the pictures below come from a song written by Barry Manilow (I know! He's everywhere!) and which we performed in our college choir.  I don't know how to add music to a power point, or a power point to a blog.  So I'll just put up the pictures, add the words, and give you an idea of what fall, in a small way, has also come to mean for me.

When October Goes

And when October goes...

...the snow begins to fly.

Above the smoky roofs,
I watch the planes go by.

The children running home beneath a twilight sky...

Oh, for the fun of them,
When I was one of them.

And when October goes,
The same old dream appears,

And you are in my arms
To share the happy years.

I turn my head away to hide the helpless tears.

Oh, how I hate to see October go.

And when October goes...

...the same old dream appears.

And you are in my arms
To share the happy years.

I turn my head away to hide the helpless tears.

Oh how I hate to see October go.

I should be over it now, I know...

It doesn't matter much how old I grow...

I hate to see October go.


Grammy Goodwill said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. While it must be hard, I would think that knowing people remember your Dad would also be comforting.

tammy said...

My heart is sad for yours.

Andrea said...

Very touching with wonderful pictures and words.

InkMom said...

Nicely done, DeNae. What a lovely tribute.

Garden of Egan said...

Oh my.
Your dad sounds like a wonderful man.
Such a beautiful tribute.
I hope you find that he's right there with you enjoying the sites and singing the Manilow song.

Brittany said...

Kinda made me cry. And I'm not a crier (cryer?). Apparently I'm not a speller either.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I get it, DeNae. I really do. Hugs. Big hugs.

Jessica said...

That was so nice. I am a crier.

Becca said...

You are a softie. Anyone is, who can quote Barry in a blog post. That is a precious gift of love to your daddy. I hope Mama P reads it. XO

MarieC said...

BEAUTIFUL tribute to your Dad, just beautiful. Good thing I haven't put on my mascara yet today.

On the flip(pant) side, you'd have a much different feeling about turning your furnace back on if it had only been off since the end of JUNE. One of the many things I hate about living in the Pacific NorthWET.

Momza said...

I'm weepy just before I have to run carpool this morning. But it's worth it. Your Dad's legacy is in the trees. That's quite beautiful.

Kim Bee said...

tears streaming down my cheeks, that was beautiful!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I don't even know your dad, but that made me miss him too. I'm sorry your heart has a sad piece in October. He knows how much you love him, I'm sure.

seashmore said...

That was a beautiful tribute.

AS Amber said...

You know I'm bawlin'!

That was so great, sister. I love, love, loved it. I sure do miss him. I've wondered what it was like for you to come back to Utah and have him not be here.

He was so loved by the people he served in your ward and stake. I'm not surprised you can't escape from others who miss him, too.

Thanks for putting my wedding picture in there. It's one of my favorites.

Becky said...

Our dad's shared a birthday. Cool! Mine would have been 60 this year. He never met my kids in this life, but I believe he picked them out for me. Nobody gets as lucky as I am to have two perfect kids in a row without a little help from above. :)
This time of year is hard. I can relate. Dad died the 17th of November 5 years ago.

Karen Peterson said...

What more can I add that hasn't already been said? I'm sorry about your dad.

And, also, your daughter's epiphany mad me giggle.

Myrnie said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful life. I'm sorry it's so hard :(

Sharon said...

So beautiful even in sadness. This touched the tender place where I miss my dad, too. Thank you for going there and inviting us along.

Beka said...

May you feel hugs from heaven. That was beautiful, thanks for sharing. :)

wendy said...

Gosh DeNae, this was a beautiful post.
Made me on Nov 11, it will be one year since I lost my son.
The photos of the funeral
the family
touched my heart.
It is just plain HARD to loose those we love...we just want them back, long enough for ONE MORE HUG.

AS Amber said...

I have to add (in case people don't realize it) that I've always LOVED the look on dad's face as he and mom held you as a baby. He was so in love with you!! They look like the happiest parents, ever. You were one lucky (and loved!!) baby!

Kazzy said...

I kind of go into a panic when I realize that someday I will have to say goodbye to my parents. I am sure that is still difficult for you, but the part about being in your dad's old neighborhood just hit me.

I love that song, and now will be singing it in my head all day! How about a duet on this one sometime???

Qait said...

Beautiful, DeNae. I read a description of grief that I have always loved from the book Memoirs of a Geisha. It described grief as a window...and I don't remember the words exactly, but basically, we can put the cold wind out of our minds for a time, but it's always there when the window opens. Something like that.
We can heal, but the sadness of having someone die is so real that the feeling of loss doesn't just disappear... Grief, I think, is part of life after we've encountered the death of someone we love. It's always going to be there, and sometimes it rises to the surface.

Qait said...

I just have to add... this month can really pull out my raw emotions too. My brother died 29 October 1992, and