October is my favorite month of the year!
When I was a kid, October was my favorite month because my birthday is in October (5th), and it meant I’d be getting gifts and having cake and ice cream. What’s not to like?
As I grew older, the whole birthday thing became less and less important to me; especially after ALS took away my ability to eat the delicious carrot cake that Mary made me for my birthday. No ice cream needed with her carrot cake, just a good cup of coffee.
ALS has also made it difficult for people to buy me gifts for my birthday. Golf balls? No. ALS has taken away my ability to golf. Neckties? No. ALS has taken away my ability to work. A weekend away? No. ALS has taken away my ability to travel. On and on the list goes. ALS has turned me into a reclusive minimalist.
A year ago, on September, 23rd, I came down with a horrible case of pneumonia. I went downhill rapidly. A few days later, even taking heavy doses of antibiotics, I continued the downward spiral. When my kidneys shut down, my palliative doctor handed me off to hospice.
After a week in bed taking heavy antibiotics, to everyone’s surprise, including Mary’s, she’d later confess, I began to improve. I improved enough to celebrate my birthday with our family. My breathing is weaker, I usually have to use my ventilator most of the day, and I battle extreme fatigue, but I am here to celebrate yet another birthday.
I’m thankful to God that He’s allowed me to be here for yet another birthday. But, as I said, birthdays are no longer a big part of why October is my favorite month, and I why fall is my favorite season.
It’s the weather!
When I was growing up in Chicagoland, October was great weather for riding bikes, playing basketball in the driveway, foursquare in the street, or football on the field behind us. This was before computer games, cellphones, cable TV, and so many other time wasters. The colorful leaves were falling all around us as we played; a constant reminder that the long and frigid Chicago winter would soon be here. We had to full advantage of the October sunshine.
Today, so many years later, I live in Texas, over eleven hundred miles away from Chicago. I have been stuck in the house all summer because it is too hot to go outside! Seriously, I don’t even remember the last time I’ve been outside. I’m thankful for air conditioning. I was so happy to see that the weather forecast said we’re going to get our first “cool front.” The daytime high is only going to be around 80 degrees. Brrrrr.
Over two decades ago, ALS robbed me of the ability to play sports or enjoy other outdoor activities. But I still enjoy sitting outside and listening to audiobooks or watching our three grandkids play. God has truly blessed us.
Get outside and enjoy October!