Friday, November 01, 2013

Falling Back

Autumn in Rural Ohio

So far, fall has been quite eventful for us. First of all, it certainly doesn't feel like fall in Florida. We had a couple cool'ish days in October, but they were only a few days and overnight lows didn't get out of the 50s. Having lived the majority of the past 16 years in states with moderate climates, the one thing I miss about living somewhere with definitive seasons is the autumn.

My grandmother passed away last week. She had a history of diabetes, the childhood kind, not the fat people kind, and heart disease and had been on a steady decline for a while now. For some, the release of death is a kindness and not a devastating loss. For my grandma, who had been shocked back to life by a defibrillator several times in the past several weeks, knowing that she was finally at peace was a relief. Added to that, when my grandparents sold their house back in 2009, I had said goodbye to what was. We didn't make it back to Ohio between that last visit and my grandma's passing. Yes, I'm sad that my grandma is no longer with us, but I've come to terms with her passing and I'm okay.

We took the girls and Bailey and drove to Ohio for her funeral. The trip north was quite picturesque. Once we got into Tennessee, fall colors started showing themselves on the trees. As we made our way further north and into Ohio, the colors were more vibrant, varied, and plentiful. The last time we had been able to enjoy fall like that was when in the fall of 2006 when we were still living in Vermont. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was in the middle of it once again. Still, you'll never, ever hear me say that I miss the snow and winters, lol.

The trip north wasn't all about my grandma. We also took time to visit what family that we could, carving out special time with my dad. Recently, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He actually got his third round of chemotherapy while we were there. I hadn't seen my dad since 2010 when I was in Ohio for his last open heart surgery. You might get the idea here, that my dad isn't always in the best of health. Seeing him and the drastic physical changes he has undergone was the most difficult part of the trip for me. As you could probably guess, he's lost a lot of weight. According to my sister, his hair has started to thin, but from the way he's wearing it (in a hippie ponytail, lol) I didn't notice a difference. The most startling difference was that he now looks older than his 62 years. It was hard to see. My dad has already had surgery for the cancer and the chemo is to, hopefully, ensure that the doctors got everything and that it doesn't come back. We are optimistically hopeful. Despite the circumstances, I was glad that my girls got to spend this time with their papa and that he was well enough to go to Chuck E. Cheese (I have an 8 year old nephew) with his grandkids.

After spending a week in hotels, we are more than thrilled to be home. I missed my cats terribly. We hired our 14 year old neighbor to look after them and she did an excellent job. We are back in the land of summer though. It was 80 degrees when we got home and it's in the 80s today as well. Time to put the winter clothes back in the closet for a few more weeks. Fall is all about change. Change comes a little later for Floridians. We'll have to wait and see what it'll bring.

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