The Fall

Fall 2009

The leaves are changing colors and blanketing the ground. The cooling air has us unpacking our sweaters, piling wood next to the fireplace, and thinking ahead to the coming holidays. The promise of apple cider, baked goods, and joyful visits with family cheers each day with anticipation.

The exquisiteness of fall is never lost on me. I am a 28 year old woman with a husband in his seventh and last year of graduate school, a two year old son, and a rather uninteresting job. I live fairly modestly, taking joy in simple life changes, such as the season. 

I have been planning my son’s Halloween costume for weeks and am absurdly excited to take him to a carnival with his cousins. I love the festivities that Halloween is the start of. I love that I now have a young child to teach holiday traditions to and relish each small joy with. I am filled with happiness and enthusiasm.

The anticipated carnival is held outside a large church in a town nearby and is swarming with costumed people.  Hay and pumpkins are everywhere.  Food stalls, farm animals, rides, and game booths form rows and rows through the previously empty field.  I’m running around after my little Yoda, with his cape and painted green face. 
We’re laughing a lot, and I keep trying to take pictures in spite of the bad lighting and little subjects who won’t stand still.

I don’t realize it at the time, but pictures or none, I will remember everything about this night... the bad Chinese food we ate for dinner, the light blue shirt I was wearing, the chalky parking space we pulled into just as the street lights were coming on, how it felt to lift my little guy over the inflatable obstacle course barriers he couldn’t climb, to duck and weave through them with his twenty-five pounds attached to my hip.  The details have etched themselves into my memory as significant.
This was to be the last day of my normal life. Tomorrow, on November 1st, I will wake up sick. Very sick.


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