Every year about this time, I start to get mixed feeling about the weather…or should I say the changes that are happening in the weather. It is a mix of sadness that the summer is just about over, and anticipation of the coming fall. It is getting up in the morning and shivering around the house, and needing air conditioning before the day is over.

I can’t really explain how I feel about the coming of fall. The lazy summer days are behind us again, and the days with my grandchildren back in school, and filled with activities and sports are upon us. There is excitement as my grandson, Chris starts football. And before we know it there will be concerts, basketball, dances and the holidays.

I always miss the longer summer days, with all their warmth. Wearing shorts and sandals, and not needing a coat. Those days that are just easier. No need to bundle up, or dig our way out of snow. And yet, there is a certain amount of anticipation that makes me look forward to fall…just a little bit. Even though I know that fall will soon give way to winter, I can’t help but look forward to all that the next season will bring. The changing of the leaves, bringing yellows and a few reds in my area. Foggy mornings now and then, as the cooler air settles down on the warm ground.

I know it’s odd coming from a girl who truly hates winter, to say that she is looking forward to fall, but the older I get, the more I realize that I really like spring and fall, because the days are warmer, but not sweltering, and yet I love summer for it’s hot days that can be enjoyed with just a little help from an air conditioner, and winter…well yes, winter will come after fall, but it won’t last forever, and after it is over, we will once again move forward into a glorious spring, that is waiting…just a few months away.

Dad and MomHaving been a caregiver since October of 2005, I find myself coming face to face more and more often with the Winter of life. It is the time in someones life, when they have far fewer days in front of them that they have behind them, and in many ways, I find that sad…especially when it is my parents or in-laws that I am talking about. I understand…all too well…that life on this earth is finite, and that we will all leave here one day, but still, it is hard to face that day as it applies to my parents, in-laws, grandparents and other loved ones in my life. I guess I just don’t like change very much and especially when it means having a loved one get old and leave this life.

Change is, unfortunately, inevitable, and their is nothing we can do to stop it, or slow it down even. Like the seasons, life has a cycle that cannot be changed. Like Spring, bringing newness to the Earth, birth is also a new beginning, and young life. Summer is the youth Dad and Momand young adulthood, Fall is middle age, and finally, we arrive at Winter, bring late life and finally death. I have never liked Winter in any form…be it weather or life cycle. It is a depressing time to me that always feels sad.

The only consolation is that we have the promise of eternal life in Heaven, and I know that I will see my dad again. It was never about a lack of belief that I will see him again…it is more about the wait for Spring…eternal life, that seems so long. When we are the ones left behind, the wait seems to take forever. I’m not in a hurry to leave this Earth, I just wish that the getting to Heaven could be sooner. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but that is exactly how I feel about the Winter of life.

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