The mornings are chilly and the leaves have turned. Pumpkin and ginger are reigning in our kitchen. We got our firewood on Sunday, and Neumania (8 crazy nights of Neuman Family birthdays) begins on Thursday. As I have said before, this is my favorite time of year. The beauty of God's creation astounds me, and since all my babies were born in the Fall, I am filled with profoundly happy memories this season.
But this also seems to be the season of crisis for our family. Four autumns have included a brain surgery for Sam. And while this year we have only signs of excellent health, every so often, out of the blue, I get a lump in my throat or tears fill my eyes. At first I am confused by my shifting emotions and then I remember why.
When I think of carving pumpkins last year, or smell the gingerbread tea brewing and pumpkin muffins baking, I realize that last year when I experienced these things, fear for my precious child hung heavy in the air, like the smoke from the fireplaces. And yet, the sadness doesn't last long. It lasts just long enough to remember. It makes me slow down and take notice, even when I am rushed or tired. It reminds me to be grateful, for every laugh, every smile and every, "I love you Mom." These sudden memories remind me that these are good times, and I am so very blessed.
So while I may feel a tinge of fear or sadness from time to time, what God has really given me is a gift. I know how blessed we are, and every moment I am thankful. And while the tears sometimes catch me by surprise, I can't think of any way I would rather spend this season, than with a heart full of gratitude.