An ending

SONY DSCThe golden days of autumn are almost gone.  The leaves lie crushed and brown on the grass now, no longer clinging to the hope of one more day, one more breeze, one more morning of life.

There is frost on the grass, sparkling in the faded sunlight.

Another season gone. Another harvest past. Another winter approaching.

I’m inside the house, wrapped in fleece.  I am folding clothes, still warm from the dryer.  I press a shirt to my face, breathing in the clean hot smell.  My eyes are drawn out the window, into the yard.  I look past the fence, past the hedges that grow there now. My focus is on the past, on the yard as it used to be.

I see my boys, running in the grass.  I hear the sound of a tennis ball, bouncing off the siding, and the sweet young voices that cheer each other on. My cheek rests for a moment on the soft blue towel in my hands.  I see a little sweater, tiny socks, remembering how it felt to fold each one softly into its proper drawer.

Another holiday season ahead.  Another year of pies and cranberries and visits.   For the first time in 27 years, we won’t have any of my children home to celebrate with us. I understand the pressures of jobs and new families and new responsibilities.  I harbor no grudges, because I know that I will see them soon, that we all still love and cherish other. I know that I am lucky in far more ways than I can count.

Still, my eyes are drawn out the window, and into the past. I see the little handprint turkeys, the pipe cleaners and pinecones that stood proudly on the table.  I hear those voices laughing, and asking for more dessert. I see little arms reaching to hug Grampa sitting at the head of the table.

I am sad.

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