[Sorry I didn’t post last night. I did a lecture, and when I came home I found this site unresponsive. Short report: I spoke to a Cub Scout pack, and they were a good audience.]
I am wondering how much my perceptions of the world are influenced by the aphorisms I’ve learned, more than actual experience.
This is what I mean: Some time ago, one of my brothers said, referring to a couple deaths in the autumn, “Well, Dad always used to say, ‘It’s fall – harvest time.’”
I actually have no memory of Dad ever saying this (not that I doubt my brother’s word – lots of things go over my head). But ever since then, when someone dies in the fall, I think about it, and respond (on some barely conscious level), “There it is. Fall, harvest time.”
Except I know it isn’t true. People die all year round. Dying in fall is just thematically harmonious.
That said, there’s been a lot of harvesting this fall, in my world.
The first death was particularly sad. A lovely Christian couple I know, who live in another state, had a little son who suffered severe disability from birth. For the years of his short life they’ve done everything possible to care for him and cherish him. Love being true riches, that boy was richer than a king. But his small body finally wore out not long ago. I mourned with them in spirit.
Some weeks ago, I’ve just learned, my uncle died. We weren’t informed for a while because his widow (a lovely woman) has been too overwhelmed to handle the notifications. I don’t begrudge it. We all have to deal with these things the best we can.
He was the last survivor of my dad’s siblings, and one of my favorite relatives. He was the brother who made good – went to work for IBM and rose to an upper management position on the Saturn Project at Cape Canaveral.
And a friend’s mother died the other day. He’s not a close friend, except in proximity. But his family has had a sad time watching their parent fail for some time now. Ironically, this is the only memorial service of the three I’ll be able to attend.
Of course, fall isn’t over yet.