October means scarves and ears stinging with cold. October means pumpkins, orange and red leaves that crunch under boots. October means open windows and cool mornings snuggling under blankets.
But October also means sadness slowly creeping into my heart. Not the everyday sadness that we feel year round, but a special sadness that is reserved only for fall. It means being blindsided over and over again with the crashing reality that five years ago in October I was hugely, happily pregnant with my first child.
Five years ago, I was blissfully unaware of how I would meet my son, of how broken and sad this world could be. Of how birthdays are sometimes not the happy occasion you dream they will be.
October means planning a birthday party for a little boy who will never see it... making a cake that no one will eat. October means a heaviness on my heart as the days creep toward his days... the day he died, the day he was born, the day we buried him up on the mountain next to his great-granddad.
This year, October means hiding away in my room so my sobs don't scare my precious fourth child. It means intentionally carving away time to sit with the grief that threatens to consume me if I don't.
October is the month I both dread and love. It is the last full month we had with our Owen. It is the time I look back on with affection because I was so hopeful and happy and ready to have him in my arms. I didn't know what was coming those early November days, and I feel both thankful and regretful of that. But I loved him as best as I could those last October days. Those were our days... the ones where I could barely take my hands off my growing belly. The days when I ate for the both of us, wondering what would make him dance and bounce the most. The days that I had longed for when we found out we were pregnant. The happy days just weeks from his due date. And I remember them like they were yesterday.
October means more than it did before.