As October edges into double digit days I know the ramp up and slow down cycle is beginning. I can’t help but be reminded of a song I’ve loved for years. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love Barry Manilow’s voice and music, and the song, “When October Goes” in particular is my favorite.
For most of my life I looked forward to this month. The cooler weather. The trees changing color. A bunch of days off school. All of that. What could be better? Well, everything.
In 1997 my dad passed on the 8th of October and everything changed. It became a month to shoo away, crossing the days off the calendar as quickly as possible. Trying to sleep less so I wouldn’t dream of him. Missing him and remembering every sad moment surrounding his passing. The diagnosis. The surgery. The hospital stay. The nursing home. Hospice. Saying goodbye.
When October comes each year, why does that mean that I can’t sleep? Why do I hear my father’s voice in my head almost every day in October, when I can barely bring it to mind at any other time? How do you cope with the same loss every single year? The cellular memories keep rising to the top of my cup and it overflows with my father. I wish I didn’t have to drink but there is a longing and I simply cannot push myself away from the table.
What’s amazing is that finally this year, twenty-one years gone, little by little it’s changing. Instead of just another chalk mark on the wall until I see my dad again, I’ve been reminded of our last great Thursday lunch date. How he would lead me into the restaurant by gently touching the small of my back, and sit seemingly mesmerized while I regaled on about some latest escapade in the office. It’s conjuring up a joke or phrase he used to say or the way he called my name. It’s sharing stories with my kids of how strict he was and how now at 50 I’m so grateful for it. After this 21st anniversary of his death, I realized this month that I just want to enjoy remembering him however I can. And overnight, October is my favorite again.
My sweet 16 year old girl created these images for me. She sent them to me in a text as if it were no big deal. She never had the chance to meet my dad, and she knows nothing about my rocky relationship with the month of October. Isn’t it funny how it can be quite natural to reach out and give exactly what someone else needs without them even knowing it?
Stories are the oldest and best part of our lives. In every chapter there is joy and melancholy. Turmoil and peace. Love, loss and letting go. But it’s folding down the corners of joy that make it a best seller.
The way to remember your father is by daring to be passionate and purposeful and connected and confident in re-telling the stories. It’s by not forgetting to remember. It is the #1 way and there is nothing more powerful.
Certified Life & Health Coach. Gifted Writer Creating Print & Video Content that Raises Confidence, Positivity, & Energy in Corporate Women and Business Owners. Self-Talk Shifter. Motivation Elevator. Catalyst.
Specializing in content creation for women-owned small businesses, Chatone Morrison is the Princess of Positivity® a highly creative, high energy, heart-led, coach, consultant, mentor, leader and excellence enthusiast. Chatone is absolutely passionate about helping her clients to script their unique brand story, systematize their message so they can confidently sell their services on and off line.
To Connect With Chatone on Social Media: