Back to blogging after a time of busyness, travel, and a tenacious blue mood.... My wife Beth and I just got back from a trip to Ohio to visit Beth’s mother, who has Parkinson’s. Our daughter’s birthday happened to fall (in August) around the Labor Day weekend, but Emily drove to see a good friend for the weekend, then we all reassembled after the Ohio trip and celebrated a late birthday for her.
When I was a kid, birthdays and anniversaries were concentrated in the summer months. My parents were born in July and August and were also married in July. With Mother’s and Father’s Days, I had five different occasions to buy them presents and send them cards. (As they grew older, I was more or less expected to impress them with imaginative gifts and big cards.) I also had four great-aunts who were born in the second half of August, so we had the family reunion in a local park on the third or fourth of August.
My daughter’s birthday is always a happy occasion! But September has become melancholy with the deaths of both of my parents during the month---plus, the anniversary of my dad’s death is the same day as my deceased father-in-law’s birthday. I have some strategies for staying positive as the days approach. (After I wrote and posted this, a FB friend whom I knew in high school noted that his mom died thirty years ago today.)
I like a book called “Praying Our Goodbyes” by Joyce Rupp. I first read it years ago when a friendship had cooled, but she also deals sensitively with several areas of grief and loss. Here is a good sample: http://joycerupp.com/PrayingGoodbyes.html