Both of my children we born on the cusp of seasons. When William was born after a very long labour at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto it was the end of May. It had been cool before but while I was still there, my husband showed up in shorts and it shocked me. There was a humidex! Two days away and summer had begun.

When Rory was born (12 years ago this week!) I was in the hospital in Kitchener for only three hours with my midwives. We drove home when he was only hours old through the first snow fall, hushed and heavy, of the season.

My neighbour died this weekend. Her story is her own and it was amazing. I loved her very much and I know she loved us and watching our children grow. Every summer, until it was difficult for William to go over, we swam in her and her lovely husband’s pool. That was their Christmas present every year – just call and we’ll unlock the gate. Our relationship, for eleven years, was mostly over a fence. Food was passed over, stories and hugs. She loved our dog and watching the kids on the trampoline. She never judged me for not keeping up the glorious garden in our backyard that she had enjoyed for thirty years. She never made me feel bad for that. I remember the day she hugged me and told me it would take time for things to feel easier after my Boppa passed three years ago. On the rare occasions I would run over and have tea with her and she’d tell me stories of her childhood, her siblings. She was only 82. I wasn’t over enough, I feel bad for that now, I knew I would some day. She always understood it was difficult for me to get away.

This weekend was the start of autumn. Clocks turned back and we woke up to snow this morning. I had the task today of buying a sympathy card – you’re never prepared to feel that first welling of pain for someone you’ve lost, in an aisle of a busy Zehrs on a Sunday morning. It’s going to take time for things to feel easier.

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