All the Septembers

For the past two Septembers, right around the time the leaves change color and begin to fall, I've felt this lump begin forming in my throat. It seems to reach all the way from my throat down to the pit of my stomach. Sometimes I will just be washing dishes or sitting on the floor playing with the baby and I will feel tears rolling unbeckoned, unannounced down my face.

It's like my body remembers before my consciousness what happened three years ago- that at this time in 2013 the writing was on the wall, and as each leaf fell from the majestic trees I felt pieces of my life breaking apart and cascading down too, just out of reach, only to get crumpled under the feet of a world that just kept moving on.

I knew it was coming this year too, but yet somehow even though I expected it, grief snuck up on me. I am still not sure how. I posted a guard. I even prepared a place for this unwelcome guest, but he must have snuck in the backdoor of my heart because the other day I felt a familiar lump rise up in my throat and I had to remind myself to breathe. I sat on the couch with my kids piling on my lap for a bedtime story and I had to dig my fingers into my thigh in a feeble attempt to hold back the sobs. Yesterday morning Titus and I took a walk while the other three kids were at school. One single leaf dropped down from high up in a tree. It fell slow but steady and landed among others in a muddy pile along the side of the road. I found myself down on the concrete rescuing leaves. Gathering them up, washing them with my tears and trembling fingers. I brought them home because I just couldn't stand the thought of them laying there in the mud, without a meaning, without anyone noticing.

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