It’s finally here. I’ve been watching it get closer and closer for some time now.
I know all that September will bring.
23 years ago in September, we went on our first date. Later in the month, we’d celebrate his birthday together for the first time.
19 years ago this September, we were married.
4 years ago this September, we entered the month in a sea of fear, in the midst of tests and doctors appointments knowing there was a tumor and cancer, but not much else. By the end of the month, we were scared, but armed with a diagnosis, a great oncology team, a treatment plan and the optimism of a toolbox that would, hopefully, enable us to continue living our happily ever after.
3 years ago this September, we learned that his first round of treatment wasn’t quite cutting it and that he would undergo an series of treatments via interventional radiology.
1 year ago, this September, we lived with hope and positivity that the newly approved treatment he started in June was working and that we would see stability for a few years.
Looking back now, September was the time last year when things were starting to change. We had a lot of fun in September, but Tony wasn’t bouncing back from all of it quite as quickly. We’d have a busy day or two and he’d seem to be wiped out for a while after that. At the time, we thought it was just side effects – he’d been so fortunate to experience next to nothing in the three years of different treatments. The rear-view mirror of last September is, quite honestly, heartbreaking.
This September, it will also mark six months since we said goodbye. A half of a year gone without him and still, a lifetime to go. That is the hardest truth these days…that we will never be able to return to the life we had.
For so many reasons, I have always loved September. The beauty in the shift of seasons. The fresh start a new school year and the start of the new fall television season, inviting you to sit down and relax again. Add in all the anniversaries and birthday, what’s not to love about it?
I am nervously approaching this month. Knowing that all these milestones will bring different feelings this year has me very much on edge.
The problem is that I still very much want to love September.
I know that I have to love it differently now, though, and that it’s going to be hard work to make it through this month without him. Knowing that I can’t just flip the page of the calendar, I’m going to try to do the best I can to get through. I’m scared for the emotions I’m going to face, and I know that I can’t try to predict how I’m going to feel on any given day.
So, welcome September. I can’t say I’m glad you’re here, but let’s make the best of it.