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The leaves are changing here in Wisconsin. The gigantic maple tree in my front yard is a favorite in town and it is becoming brilliant red. The days have cooled down and we even need a light jacket in the evenings. At the local farmers markets the pumpkins are waiting ready to be carved for Halloween. The corn is brown and ready to harvest. Squash of all shapes and colors are in abundance. The hills and trees are beginning to show fall colors.

It is a time of transition...again. It is hard to believe it has been almost two years since Bill and I took our last ride through these hills. It was an incredible October Sunday afternoon, the last of 25 years of Sunday rides and hikes and bike rides and wandering...and ice cream cones along the way. He was so tired from a 20 minute ride on this last jaunt, that I had to turn around and go back home. He was in his pajamas with a jacket and a blanket on his lap. Not the man I had known for 36 years. Weak, confused, tired, sad but holding my hand all the way....Yesterday I drove that route and it was my turn to turn around after 20 minutes...not from fatigue but because tears blinded my vision....tears of memories. Hard days....Approaching 18 months since we said "so long for a while". I finished my painting of Agony and it turned out pretty well (for a second painting) I will post it later. It was also healing to paint my grief.

As these cool days are welcomed, they are also accompanied by approaching holidays and then winter months. Frankly I welcome the winter months. I do not, however, welcome the holidays. Where do I go for Christmas this year? Who will I be with? Oh, a few invitations will be added to those I already have...but they will never be the same. It is a matter of making the best of them, focusing on others and their needs. There will never be another holiday that I do not miss Bill or wish he was sitting beside me wherever I end up.

Wondering if anyone else is feeling the approaching holidays....I know you guys in AZ probably don't see the transition the way we do here in Wisconsin.

I just started reading my next Book Club (Driftless Readers...a local club named after this ara of Wisconsin) book...Cutting for Stone. It started with this quote:

And because I love this life

I know I shall love death as well.

The child cries out when

From the right breast the mother

Takes it away, in the very next moment

To find in the left one

Its consolation.

-Rabindranath Tagore (one of my favorites)

The quote reminded me that Bill is happy and at peace in a world that has to be pure magnificence, one we can not figure out - a mystery. Origin of the word mystery: "to look as if through eyelashes" (the blur, lack of definition, unclear)

End of my ramblings,



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Yes Mary we feel the change of season here also,in AZ, the weather is calming down, the nights are wonderfull, and actually at christmas, my brother from Denver often has to wear a jacket on his annual visit here with his kids in tow! Actually though it is not quit the same as being up north, back in Wyoming and Montana, I loved the aspen trees, in fall, when the colors were like opening a crayon box! Christmas I feel will be odd this year, my goal wil be to revert to being a 2 and 5 yr old, to keep up with the kids that will be visiting.....figure if I am busy enough I wont have to think a bout anything. but what else can I do to have fun, and to make more wonderfull memories for them and I....but I sure dread the kids asking about Mike.....

I love the quote you posted, and have no doubt the other side is wonderfull, free of physical pain....and yet I truely am starting to believe that Mike feels the extreme pain I am going through.....for I know we had a connection that I know I have never felt before, a true oneness......that cannot be broken.....

Best wishes! Dave

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It's becoming autumn in Missouri also, and we do see some very nice colors. Wanda and I used to leave Lee's Summit and head for her family's origin in Eldon, MO. That's in the heart of Ozark country, only a few short miles from Bagnell Dam. Wanda's Sisters are asking me to come to a family reunion on the 22nd of October, then one of the Sister's 50 year anniversary the next day. With my Crohn's, I can't make it down there right now, but I can remember the many, many trips we made together, and those memories are wonderful.

Mentioning the upcoming holidays puts another fear in my heart because they were always so special to us. We have had as many as 60 people at our home for Thanksgiving, and last year we had 5 separate Christmas celebrations because not everyone could make it at the same time. The holidays from here on, as long as I'm still here, will be torture for me, even with a large family supporting me. I just can't fathom the idea of going through the holidays or another winter without my best friend, but I will!! I will do what God has put in front of me, and I will do my best each day, probably crying through all the way through.

Everyone, I'm hopeful that each of you will do better than I am.

Hugs and warm thoughts....Earl C

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I love the fall colors and cooler weather,but it also makes me sad when I think of the flowers and leaves dying. In Canada we probably will have a snowfall by Hallowe'en and then hopefully it will melt for awhile. One of my jobs for the last few years was cleaning the driveway and sidewalks(Lars' legs were too sore for him to do it), that is one job I don't look froward to.

Lars and I spent many wonderful Sunday afternoons driving around looking at all the colors, stopping for a picnic or a coffee. The past two years I've avoided going anywhere that we'd been before he got sick, but I'm thankful I have the memories.

This is my 3rd Christmas alone, I don't think it will be any easier than the last one was. At least my children and grandchildren are here, but they go home for the night, and that's when the sadness and lonliness starts.But we will all get through it, we have no other choice .


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I understand your not going where you used to drive. I have avoided doing that also as we went for drives almost every Sunday. I tried to go on one road last week and it was a bad experience. It happens to be the shortest route to a place I have to go on business but I will be taking the long route now for a while.

I understand the loneliness of the holidays. I have no family who share the holidays with me and have not decided what to do this year. Last year was my first and tough...no kids either. I feel very alone on the planet but grateful for friends. My sibs (2) just do not know what to do with me.

Too bad we all live so far away...we could have a holiday with people who get it.

mfh mary

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