Oh, September! Such a mixed bag of emotions for me. The new pencil chalk dust memories. The pictures of each of my kids standing in front of school with backpacks bigger than them. And 1996, nine months pregnant with Grace, Sam off to pre-school, and women who would become my friends for life still new faces. September. Always a symbol of hope for me. Of promise. Grace born on September 24. The most beautiful baby I ever laid eyes on. F. Scott Fitzgerald's 100th birthday. Surely a fortuitous day. A promise for a bright future. And so when September comes now, after losing my Gracie too soon, I find myself both hopeful and sad; eager to pack lunches and sharpen pencils and bake cookies; and paralyzed by grief.
But let me count my blessings: Gogo turned 81 yesterday. Annabelle went off to third grade with a gap toothed smile. Sam got the lead in a play at school. I'm teaching and writing, knitting and reading. In a month I'll be in Italy, even as I plan trips to Norway and Alaska over the next year.
And oh! I had that beautiful funny smart little girl for five years! A blessing that.