I love the fall, the brightly coloured leaves, the idea of change and new beginnings…except for November.
I came back in the fall, to my home, to the family I had left behind…and then November.
The once-coloured trees turned bare, exposed and empty. The skies darkened and sent chills to my very core.
I’ve stood on your balcony, looking down at the concrete. Four stories. I’ve read the note found in your pocket. Four words: “Please look after TJ”.
You loved that cat. Was your call for help — or was it just to say goodbye?
November. Unassuming like a lamb to the slaughter.
At first there was hope…something to cling to. But hope brought new worry. Would you wake into a new nightmare? Would you be ashamed? Angry? Can you hear me?
“There’s a new complication” the doctors said yet I refused to believe. They must be wrong.
But we gathered round your bed as a bagpiper played for the veteran a few feet away. Remembrance Day. How appropriate, I thought.
You jerk. Suffering in silence because you thought you were better than us. I thought I was too, once. It’s why I left. But I came back, Cory — I came back!
Sometimes I think I see you — the young man carrying a backpack…my son…myself…I reflect on the chat we’d had not long before…we said “I love you”…I’m so grateful.
As November spreads its sombre stillness, I take refuge in the belief that you’ve become part of something new, something bigger than all of us. These are the good days.
There are more good days now, where I feel like there are no more tears to cry — but I know they’re always there, hidden just below the surface…like an ocean before the storm.
Like the fall before November.