Someone I know posted on Twitter, "How is it the last week of September? This was the fastest month of my life."
I jokingly replied, "Do you remember the 21st night of September."
She replied back, "Wake me up when September ends" — another song lyric, but one that hit me much differently than Earth, Wind & Fire.
Another loss mom and I always begin our season of grief together in September, with Nelle's birthday at the beginning of the month and her son's birthday in the middle. For years, we've said to each other, "Wake me up when September ends": when we're past this month of reminders. Only recently did I learn that the Green Day song is based on grief, from the lead singer losing his father as a child. Even more fitting that it became one of my own songs of grief.
Yet I love Fall. It's my favorite season. The colors began rapidly changing in the weeks after I lost Nelle. I remember looking out my window that year and seeing the stark red of a tree. It was so vibrant, even though I felt so dead inside. I channeled my hurt into a poem. Somehow, I still manage to love the season, even though it always reminds me of loss.
And at the same time, I agree with my friend's initial sentiment: this September went by extraordinarily fast. Maybe it's because the last two years have been so wildly dominated by the pandemic. It was full-time remote learning in 2020. Back in the classroom in 2021, but constant exposure to the virus, trips to the doctor for PCR tests, time at home waiting out a quarantine period, fear for my unvaccinated kids... it was a lot.
This year felt... normal? All three kids are back to a regular school routine. My two older kids are participating in after-school activities. They're getting together with friends. I blinked and September was over. Whereas the days of the pandemic felt like they lasted an eternity.
In the span of a 24-hour period, the temperature dropped from a daily high of 85 to 65. No doubt Fall is here. And I'm ready... and busy. Which is fine. Busy feels like the Beforetimes.