Here comes another winter, which is definitely not my favorite season as I get older. But before that it has been a beautiful fall. November, as someone pointed out today, is a month of gratitude. Contemplating on things I am grateful for has led to memories of past Novembers. It's always been a big birthday month. Growing up with 17 first cousins on one side of the family and 14 on the other, there were always birthday parties. There were 4 in November, mine being one. Now my son and a neice have November birthdays too. Along with those happy memories come some sad ones. Two very special people died in November, my grandmother and my brother.
I'm so grateful to have had my brother in my life both in his early years and then again in the 1990's when I lived near him in North Carolina. I had just finished serving 4 years in the USAF Medical Corp in November 1969 when he entered the Air Force, later to serve in Viet Nam. Mom always associates the song, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" with his departure, and it brings back so many memories.
He returned safely and later married his beautiful wife Rita, settled in North Carolina and raised a son and daughter. His first baby granddaughter, Taylor, was just learning to walk when he passed away November 10, 2003 at the age of 53 due to diabetes and cancer from agent orange exposure in Viet Nam. Though the memories are both painful and bring tears, I'm grateful to have had those later years to get to know him better as an adult. And I'm so glad that he got to experience the joy of his first grandchild.
This is for you Steve ~