Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking in October

Since the last flip of the calendar I have been taking in October sip by sip. There is a complexity of flavors including a heaping measure of sweet anticipation, a welcome fresh addition.
Outside dining was a fabulous intro! Breezy, sunny comfort is hard to come by in GA. When it did hover for day after day after day I was reminded of two special times when we took advantage of such temperatures. Most recent was when high maintenance Lydia finally came home from the hospital, meals were at the hands of friends, my mom held down the fort inside, while Jason and I escaped to the table in the back yard to eat our food in dazed silence, breathing in the non-antiseptic air. I am also reminded of a trip to New England with my engagement ring, my betrothed and my future family. I couldn’t get over the very different “summer” temperatures and explosion of flowers, which made alfresco dining a full-sensory feast. It's satisfying that these can both be sweet memories in their very different ways.

Two of those mamas shared my hotel room. The sisterhood was intense, revealing, loving and sobering. I've missed that scale of misfit camaraderie reminiscent of my care giving days. This was so different though. The weekend was much more as well, which gave me hope. I'm realizing that loss will always color my core but that doesn't mean it will always define me.
onference was last weekend, featuring my favorite author as the main speaker. Nancy Guthrie even extended an invitation for me to join her at a table of bereaved mothers for a meal!
The leading US researcher in Pyridoxine Dependency, the one who “inherited” Lydia’s brain, is coming to Savannah from Seattle for a Neurology Conference this month. We are meeting up with this compassionate and smart fellow, something I’ve long wanted to do but Seattle seemed so far to go.
Outside play has also been fabulous, especially in the after-glow of Rock Ranch. These pictures were taken outside our front door in the school yard. Jason had two naps and an early bedtime the previous day to muster such playful energy. The kids need no banking of such a resource at their current ages: Sophie (8), Amelia (8), Caleb (5), and Josiah (2).

I like this October. 
B6 friends from the Chicago area are planning to hang out with our family in GA end of this month. Amelia can’t wait to be in the presence of the three brothers with her diagnosis. “Can we all take our B6 at the same time? There will be more kids in the house that need B6 than not! Isn’t that so cool?” Indeed it is a gift to be able to relate to others.
Eighteen years ago on October 23rd Jason and I went on our first date, Italian food and a play. We were seniors in high school. 10/23, 10:23, 1023 has been our number ever since. It was also Lydia’s time of death. Shoot, 23 by itself was the special number to mark all those month anniversaries. Then Lydia was born at 5:23. The overlapping numerical details between Lydia’s story and ours are just comforting for me. They can never be separated now. And that’s the only momentous family date in this month. Phew! I will simply divert my eyes from the Halloween decorations. Last year, as death became so real, skeletons, blood, cobwebs, toy tombstones, fright and other nods to decay and evil seemed anything but silly.
Rock Ranch was so much fun. We went for teacher and home school appreciation day (enough discounts for us all!). I decided this was just the right time to cash-in a “spend this on something for you” treat mailed to us by Mrs. Cook on the anniversary of Lydia’s death. Mrs. Cook taught the older special needs kids across the hall from Lydia for four years. She was gearing up to be Lydia’s teacher just as Lydia died. Blessed post-anniversary numbness was enough of a relief in July. I couldn’t spend it when we were so lifeless.

October finally brought more promise (and perfect weather), which was fulfilled. We all smiled, laughed and enjoyed each other. The kids loved everything, even running ahead and getting lost in the corn maze, individually. I want another silver strand of hair for those antics. Caleb must have driven Josiah around the hay bales in the John Deere power wheels 50 times. Sliding down the fireman’s pole in Tiny Town was equally thrilling for boys and girls alike.

That Saturday was perhaps the first family-of-six event that didn’t somehow fall flat since the funeral. Sophie has even dropped her pleading for a birthday trip to the American Girl Cafe in lieu of a push for another day at Rock Ranch. I have to agree with her but that’s November. I’m happily still taking in the uniqueness of this October.


  1. Ah, what a wonderful post! I love that your October is going so well. I also love that you get to meet Dr. G. He is an amazing man. Don't be surprised at how humble this man is. He is very dear to my heart. Please say hello to him for me. Also, please hug the stuffing out of Jen for me.If were there there'd be two more girls taking B6. Someday we will come and visit. In the meantime.. would Amelia like to be pen pals with Asia?

  2. Sweet Sam it is a lot of big stuff for one month, huh? I will indeed gladly be your representative and I think Amelia would love to be Asia's pen pal. Great idea! I'm serious about skype. We'll have to get those three different accents going in one conversation! Love to you and your precious family.