a bittersweet october

I love fall…the changing leaves, cooler mornings, cozy sweaters…all of it!

i  look forward to cozy evenings with a fire in the fireplace, a snuggly blanket, and my sweet kitty in my lap.  there’s just something sweet and comfy about this time of year.

as much as i love and look forward to this season, i also feel a bit of dread; especially in October.


on October 28, 2011, i lost my dad to early-onset Alzheimer’s; he was diagnosed at 53 years old, and died nine years later at the age of 62.  much too young, in my opinion.

my dad’s death just happened to be two days before our oldest daughter’s eighteenth birthday.  two and a half months after my dad died, in January of 2012, my oldest daughter unexpectedly walked out and didn’t look back.  she apparently had been planning her departure for months, but we had no idea.

she was half-way through her senior year in high school, with no job, no car, and nowhere to go.  but she was determined that life on her own, even if that meant being homeless, would be better than life with her family.


to be honest, i never really felt like i grieved my dad’s death, because my daughter leaving totally rocked our world.  the two years after she left were filled with so much drama, and one crisis after another—-all being the result of her poor choices.  and we were left to pick up the pieces. each and every time.

my heart was literally ripped out more times than i can count, and at times, i felt like i was drowning.  it was as if every time i began to get my footing, i would get knocked right back down.  i’m not exaggerating when i say those years were hell.on.earth.  i honestly didn’t know if i would survive.

so every year, when October rolls around, my heart hurts a bit.  sometimes, i don’t even realize the sadness creeping in, until i find myself in tears for no reason.  and even though it’s been eight years this month since my dad died, it still feels like it was yesterday.  i still remember the call from my mom, and the ache that i felt as i heard the words, “ he’s gone.”


my daughter’s birthday stings, each and every year.  we haven’t celebrated her birthday with her since the year after she left, and this was her choice, not ours.  we actually haven’t heard from her in over four years now; again, her choice.

and so, when her birthday comes around, i pray and ask God to protect her, and that wherever she is, that he’d put someone in her life who would sincerely love her, and lead her to Him.  i pray for her throughout the year as well, but on her birthday especially.

i would never have chosen to walk this painful journey.  and yet, i wouldn’t trade what God has taught me for anything.  i’m much stronger now, and through all of this, i can honestly say that i have tasted and seen that the Lord, he is good.


Patty Anne

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