Over the years, my family has held dear the passage from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 which goes…
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
…I’m not the most religious person, but the parallel structure combined with the acceptance of living and losing feels like a comforting poem to me. I love the musical version Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds too.
As the summer ends, I’ve reflected on the changes this season brought to our lives. The degrees, both large and small, joyful and sad, by which these changes have affected our daily selves, and I am humbled by the magnitude. Summer began with a celebration, and comes to a grim end, in the midst of a sad occasion, the untimely loss of my sister-in-law.
A few cherished happy memories from summer of 2018…
~a Stranger Things themed party with homemade decorations and excellent ice cream cake, my nephew’s graduation, long hours working with my sisters and niece on the tabletop centerpieces and photos for his open house (he’s currently in journalism school), reading, gardening and relaxing on the deck under the stars, our Ft. Lauderdale trip to speech Nationals, palm trees, oceans and ice cream, releasing butterflies in memory, witnessing thrilling Tribe victories and defeats at my favorite ballpark, friendly baseball rivalries, Rock and Roll hall of fame, roses in bloom, climbing towers twisting up into the treetops, experiencing the traveling Vietnam Wall with my dad, a beautiful anniversary outing with Shakespeare-in-the-park...more baseball, garden bounty, healthier choices and owls…marveling at the strength of my mother-in-law and husband as they calmly delivered bittersweet eulogies.~
As the seasons change, my grief changes too. The onset of autumn brings it’s own melancholy anniversaries and birthdays, and I hope that I may face them with love rather than anxiety. But I sense we are living in an anxious in-between time at the moment, with increasing pressures piling up. It is difficult for me to express in writing, to acknowledge the fears, to worry so about the trial of the months to come, but these sentiments touch my thoughts, trouble my sleep and color the lens through which I see the world.Yet, I hope to withstand whatever comes to pass. There is a time to break down and a time to build up in life. My circumstances, those of loved ones, and our families’ have derailed, shifted, become unrecognizable; however, knowing that we, that I, can rebuild offers solace.