One thing about crisp fall days is that they make a hot cup of coffee seem an almost sacred thing! Another thing about fall days - they fill me with nostalgia. As the leaves change and fall, and as I get toward the back of the calendar that hangs on the kitchen wall, I find myself taking stock of all that has happened since this time last year.
It was last November, when the trees were already mostly naked, that Ross and I traveled up to South Haven. We walked by the water and visited the shops and ate really expensive Italian food for dinner. Then, at the end of a long, sweet day, he proposed. I seem to remember rose petals and champagne, but what stands out is seeing that beautiful ring for the first time. We set the date for four months away, with little idea of how many distractions life would throw our way.
In December I was in a car accident and wrecked my faithful old Neon. In January my Fibromyalgia was bad enough that I decided to leave Verizon for good. In February we went through all the madness that comes with buying a house. Mercifully, in March we were married at last. It was probably the most exhausting four months of my life. But what a finish line! Nothing I have ever experienced compares to the grinning-like-an-idiot, bursting-at-the-seams happiness of my wedding day.
Since then I’ve been living the “married life.” When you are a newlywed people constantly ask you “how’s married life?” Do people really want to hear about the bliss of falling asleep with his stomach against my back, or how his gentleness nurses my soul when I’m feeling sad, or that sharing a bathroom is like a running joke with no words, and how every touch from his hand makes me a little stronger? Since it seems rude to draw attention to such lavish good fortune, I usually just say “fine.”
But even with a love, a home, and a future better than I could ever have deserved, this year hasn't always been easy.
In my experience, there is nothing worse than lying in a bloody hospital bed and realizing that the intense pains you are feeling are actually labor contractions, and that there is no possible happy ending. That when the physical pain is over you will not be taking your baby home. That the child you have dreamed about and worried over will be gone. You will never get to hold her, or kiss her, or tell her how sorry you are that you couldn’t protect her from this awful, unfair ending.
The next week we were nestled in a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, sleeping and eating and walking off the shock of what had happened. We were surrounded by the beauty of creation and the loving tenderness of family. Everywhere I looked I saw the promise that God is good, God is faithful.
By the end of that month I was pregnant again, unintentionally and with a great deal of apprehension. I had nightmares and was plagued by pregnancy tests that got fainter instead of stronger as the days went by. The lining was insufficient and the baby didn’t stick and I found myself having my second miscarriage in as many months. There wasn’t the same violence and gory fanfare of the first miscarriage, and I felt guilty for feeling grateful that it happened early and that it wasn't as painful.
And that brings me to October. We just returned from a trip to Wilmington where we slept in a beautiful sleigh bed, tapped our toes to live blue grass, snapped goofy pictures in a grand old mansion, and witnessed the joyful union of Kendell Cangelosi and Brian Stange. As the leaves fall and I sip my coffee, the spirit whispers, "God is good, God is faithful."