September is knocking at the door again. Early signs of fall are starting to show -- milder temperature, rain, and trees changing color. Soon, more and more leaves will fall.
Yesterday evening I went to the same funeral home where I had said my last goodbye to my mother four months ago. This time it was for someone I knew from church. If my mother had been an autumn leaf, ripe for falling, then this friend was still a summer leaf which should have stayed green for many more years. Cancer has put a premature end to her life and a big empty hole in her young children's life. I stood listening to the sobbing of her daughter and thought of my own pain, which after four months still feels raw.
My friend will be buried at the same cemetery where my mother was laid down to rest, a beautiful place that has become dear to me in a bittersweet way. I first came there to pick out the plot and the marker design for my mother's grave. Then I came to put new flowers in the vase. I came to tell my mother about my life, my job, my feelings, and most of all my baby daughter.
My daughter had been born just one month before my mother passed away, a new joy to fill in the painful emptiness. Such is the way of life, nothing is ever undiluted. In a blooming rose there is always a flawed petal. In a dark night there are always a few stars twinkling somewhere above.
One more September is coming to my life, bringing with it the beauty of fall tinged with a bit of melancholy, and I know I have to embrace both.