Autumn. The smell of decay is in the air and I feel refreshed. The days are dark and cloudy and short. The nights are cold and I feel like the weight of Summer has been lifted from my shoulders. The Samhain festival that our community puts on every year starts this week. I can't wait.
Everyone here is preparing for Winter like it's a thing to be avoided but in my heart I feel a happiness that only comes this time of year. I feel guilty for this.
I miss my mom so much. She loved the Fall. She use to go outside with me to play in the dead leaves and laugh at people when they asked her if she were crazy. "No, just my daughter," she would joke, and we would both laugh when they gave us strange looks.
Last year she was dying of cancer and should have stayed in the hospital for treatment. Treatment that would have helped her live longer. But she wouldn't miss the festival. She spent as much time as she could enjoying what she knew would be her last Autumn on Earth. Her choice.
My worst memory of her happened on All Hallow's Eve. She had been outside enjoying the festival. I was sitting in my room looking out the window at her when she stumbled. My step-dad was right there to make sure she didn't fall. I couldn't hear what they were saying but I could tell that he was asking her if she were alright. She must have said no because he took her by the arm and helped her back into the House.
I never saw her go back outside after that.
I'm still not ready to relive what happened over the next month. My mom was a very strong and independent woman and I'll always remember that she kept a half package of coco in the fridge because she knew I like my cup of hot coco extra chocolatie. She would put a pack and a half in my cup then save the other half pack for me for next time.
She died on December 5th. My step-dad told me that she had stopped breathing twice during the night while she slept. The third time she never started again. He was there the entire three weeks she was in the hospital. I love him so much for being there with her. It broke him the way I've never seen anyone broken before. My step-dad is a good man and he loved my mother so much. I don't think he'll ever love another woman again. He's dedicated his life to raising my little brother to make sure he grows up to be a good man like him. I know he'll succeed.
I sit now and wait for the Fall to begin. The new year is upon us and it's a time for rebirth. A time to begin anew. It's what my mom would have wanted.
People say I'm a little bit crazy. I just laugh at them and say, "I know."