new york city kid in arkansas
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Fall has come a bit early to Fayetteville, and it snuck up on me so quickly that I can hardly concentrate. One day it was mostly green and the next all red, orange and yellow. I can’t really keep conversations going because I’m so distracted by this temporary magic that’s every where I look. When it gets like this, usually in early November around these parts, I get almost panicky trying to be in the present moment, knowing that it’s going to soon be over. My failed objective every autumn is to calmly take in the breathtaking beauty and then let it go.

About six weeks ago my parents began some intense planning for “end of life” arrangements, and part of their process was that my dad began calling my Uncle Ronnie, his brother in-law for the past 52 years and one of my very favorite people, to get advice and support. They discussed cremation, living wills and my dad’s art work. And then, just like that, within a few days of their last phone call Ronnie fell down a flight of stairs and never recovered.

As a Kansas kid, my New Jersey aunt and uncle were exotic, attentive and always fun. This opinion only grew as I did, and how I loved sharing them both with Troy. Their Summit home was where we parked our bodies and furniture waiting for our New York City life to begin, and it is where we returned time and time again for Thanksgivings and other visits. City lovers themselves, they often made the drive or the train ride into Manhattan, treating us to dinner and Broadway shows, sightseeing at the Rockefeller tree and the Christmas window lights most every December. They never missed a single play either of us were in, no matter how awful. They moved to Virginia a few months before I got pregnant with Huck, and so that became our new favorite place to visit. Four Octobers ago Ronnie and Dottie even made it down to see our new home in Fayetteville and me on stage in “Proof,” finally understanding the appeal of this southern town.

It’s been an October of grieving, but the end of this month has also brought awe to my sad heart. I know that leaves change colors because of a lack of chlorophyll caused by the fewer hours of daylight and the changes in temperature. These beautiful, sought after leaves are dying, after all.┬áThe trees are preparing for winter and reminding us to do the same. They say that leaves can change colors early because of tree-stress. The tree perceives a threat to its well-being, and so changing colors early is a defensive mechanism that allows the stressed out tree to eliminate at least one source of trouble. Troy says it’s because of all the rain.

Whatever the reason, I’ll take it.

October 2014

5 comments

Shauntsies

October 29th, 2018

Um … my row of hearts just changed to question marks! Let me just say: Sending much love.

Tina

October 29th, 2018

Love you!!!

Rhonda

October 29th, 2018

Such a beautiful blog Johnny! Such a great reminder to embrace each moment & enjoy fully the what you are surrounded with.

Aunt Jeni

October 29th, 2018

Such a good reminder to live in the moment. And what a blessing that you had so many moments with Uncle Ronnie. XOXO

Stinks

November 1st, 2018

Your best ever.

We are sad for you. Wishing you colorful, calm days ahead.

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