Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Long-Awaited Autumn

There is something almost magical about fall, with its cool, crisp air, the changing colors of the leaves, the brightly colored pumpkins lined up in rows, and the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves filling the air.  Every year, I have eagerly put out my fall decorations in mid-September, almost too early, and have marveled at how beautiful they make the house look.  I have lit pumpkin-spice and apple-cinnamon scented candles and savored every inhale of the sweet fragrances.   I have embraced the cooling temperatures, leaving the windows open at night just so that I could wake up to a sixty-two degree house and use the fireplace to warm it up.  I have lived in leggings and leg-warmers and cozy sweatshirts.  My heart has rejoiced in the beauty of it all.  But for the past four years, there has been one thing that has prevented me from fully enjoying this wonderful season.

For four years in a row, my husband has been away during the fall months.  The first two years were deployments, the third year was training out West, and the fourth year was another deployment.   I have missed sharing the joys of autumn with him.  He has never seen the kids getting all dressed up in their Halloween costumes or taken them trick-or-treating.   I have avoided watching football games on the weekends because it was too hard without him there.  When the kids and I picked out pumpkins or went to the family day at the local farm, I desperately wished he could be there with us.  On the other hand, there was something meaningful about my husband’s absence during these months, as though this time was specifically chosen for him to be away.  Despite how much I missed him, the very thing that got me through his absence was the fact that it was fall.

This brilliant season was my comfort and my healing.  The things which I love about it were enough to help me push through the longing and still make great memories with the kids.  Each year that he was away, my mom and aunt flew out to visit and we had wonderful times together.  Some of the years, I packed up the kids and drove to Ohio to see family and celebrate fall in the North.  These were things I could look forward to and which helped me get through a difficult time.  Though I wished for him to be there, I am thankful that he happened to be gone during a time of year when the beauty of the world around me was so glorious and exciting that I couldn’t resist feeling happy.
This year, the hubby is home for the entire fall.  We have already begun lighting fall-scented candles and watching endless football games.  In another month, he will take the kids trick-or-treating for the first time while I stay home to hand out candy and watch the three of them walk down the street ready to fill their buckets.  We will finally be able to pick out pumpkins together, jump in the leaves together, and drink hot apple cider together on those cold days.  This year, nothing will be missing from this fabulous season.  

As military wives, we often do not have control of our circumstances.  But if we pay attention, we might just see that the circumstances we like the least are actually the best thing for us. 

1 comment:

  1. Yay for fall! My candles are burning as I write this. :) I'm so happy that Randall gets to enjoy this beautiful season with you this year. Love you!