I feel a little as though I am clinging to these last few days of summer, desperately dreading it’s demise, like it’s the end of summer camp or spring break at the beach. This winter, being as it was, made me look at my life through a powerful magnifying glass. Summer arrived with it’s warmth and greenness to me as a brand new person. I look at who I was before Ellie’s diagnosis, before heart surgery, and I don’t recognize that person. Confined to the safety of our home, as I learned how to accept events, learned how to live life in a new light, winter was a period of momentous growth for me. Summer this year was welcomed with a different sentiment, a difference I felt within my bones. Flooded with experiences leaving me feeling new and blessed, strong and unscathed. My love for my children and my husband grew to a tangible size that filled my entire body this past winter. When we left our house in June and the sun shone on our cold skin, I felt as though I was waking up from a long sleep.
Every day since then I have appreciated each smile on my girls’ faces, I have ached in pure happiness with every healthy breath. These summer days I have soaked in Mya’s imagination, Ellie’s endless smiles, Travis’ heartfelt glances, filling my veins to store for any cold days in the future. For I know that life is short, I know that little moments are the most important, and I know when you feel as inspired as this you should hold on and never let go. So to say goodbye to a summer that has meant so much to me is a difficult thing to do.
On Monday night I will set my alarm and lay out a pink and orange striped dress for the first day of junior kindergarten. I will fill a backpack with sunscreen and snacks, extra shoes with Mya’s name on them, a note that says “I love you.” I will wake up Tuesday morning and feed Ellie breakfast while brushing Mya’s hair. I will gather patience and hold it tight as I watch Mya take 10 minutes to put on her shoes. We will wave at school buses on the way to school, and just like last year, I will leave a little piece of my heart next to a cubby with Mya’s name on it and friends asking about her summer. Ellie and I will return to a quiet house and I will take note of the beginning of another school year, the beginning of fall, the end of mornings in our pj’s and afternoons swimming in the lake.
But I will not let this day be a punctuation signifying anything more than warm days coming to an end, because another thing I have learned is that life will continue to surprise you with exactly what you need. When you feel you’ve learned all you can, your brain will find new space for knowledge only time and experiences can give you. When you feel your heart has reached capacity, you will discover new space within those walls that was waiting for a perfect love winters of change and strength can grant you. The weather feels a little colder today, I saw leaves on a tree outside my window start to change. So goodbye summer, I will remember you forever and thank you for the warmth I needed. I’ll see you again in June, with your green leaves on the trees, and I imagine I will have a lot more to share with you.