It still is my favorite in theory, but now it all comes covered in a thick layer of melancholy. I sometimes wonder if it will always be such a bittersweet season for me. This the 4th fall that has been different. Each year has gotten a bit easier, but I still have occasional and unexpected flashes of memory that are so sharp they take my breath away.
I can perfectly picture the shoes I was wearing to my 20 week ultrasound crunching through leaves in the parking lot as we left the hospital in a haze of fear and uncertainty.
Preparing my Thanksgiving menu, brings back moments of that Thanksgiving. We were with Jess' family, and I tried SO hard not to cry that day.
Babysitting a friend's toddler and watching the boys play together momentarily takes my breath away as I feel so keenly that there's really ALWAYS supposed to be two boys tearing through the house giggling.
I'm always aware of Jude's absence and always miss him; but this time of year it just hurts more. And this year specifically it's a lonely hurt. We've moved again, and while several of my friends here know about Jude, none of them really KNOW about Jude. We're becoming more and more removed from the family and friends that walking through the pain of loss with us. No one here knew us before. No one knew us during. It sometimes feels that no one here really knows us at all,... because they don't know how the last few years have changed us.
And while Jess is doing fabulously in his residency, it keeps him very busy. Peter and I are alone most of the time. Jess and I barely have time to communicate about the absolute necessities, much less to talk about how we're really feeling, or reminisce about what it would be like to have an almost 3 year old in the house. I know he's thinking about it too, there just isn't any time.
It just feels particularly lonely this year.