By Karen Steinhauser
I think everyone probably has a favorite season. Mine would be Autumn. I like that the weather is cooler, the beauty of the leaves turning. I like pumpkins, the smell of wood burning and harvest time. That time of year also lets me know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the way. That’s exciting for me, because I love both of those holidays and what they represent. We are getting ready to start a new season very soon with Spring right around the corner. Spring is many folks’ favorite season. Trees and flowers are beginning to bloom. Spring brings warmer weather, and then there is Spring break that the children look forward to. Even though I like Spring, I also think of allergies and storms, both of which I find very unpleasant.
I grew up on a farm at Palmer. I very well remember the spring storms we had while living in our little two bedroom farmhouse. I shared a bedroom with not one, not two, but THREE sisters. We had huge trees in the yard, and when we had a storm it sounded as if we were going to be blown away. I find it so interesting to look back now and think how differently I and one sister in particular dealt with the unpleasantness of the storms.
My sister Earlene, or as we call her, Bones, would get in the bed and cover up her head. I would have never dreamed of doing that. I had to see what was coming! I walked the floors, going from one window to the next looking out. I was one of those children, if I was about to be eaten I wanted to see by what! I’m not much different now. I’m still not one to get in bed and cover my head. I tend to face life head on. It doesn’t mean one approach is right and the other is wrong. We are all different human beings and have our own way of coping. And so it is with life, we all go through different seasons and we all face storms.
I have faced my biggest storm with the loss of my mother. At times I have felt despair, never have my emotions been at such highs and lows; at times in the span of a few minutes. I am still trying to come to grips with the fact that she is no longer here. I have felt lost and like I don’t even know what to do with myself. I am pretty particular about my housekeeping. I have recently spent weeks just staring at a mess, totally unmotivated. It has only been a couple of days ago that I finished getting all of my Christmas decorations put away. Grief is very unpredictable. You don’t know when it may hit and exactly how you may react. I may have a few good days, and boom, it hits and it hits hard.
This has been a season I would like to have bypassed. However, it is where I find myself and it’s a process I must go through. There are people you will encounter that have never suffered a tremendous loss, and they will not understand. They will think you should be over it by now. We all must have time and know that it’s ok to grieve. I am learning to embrace the process rather than trying to reject it and hurry through it. My faith has been my greatest help. The love and understanding of family and friends is a blessing in the midst of heartache. No one can fix this for me, but being able to share my memories with a listening ear has been wonderful therapy. I personally need to talk about mother. I want people to know about her and that her life mattered. I don’t want her to be forgotten.
My most favorite scripture is found in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Just as Spring will bring new life and beauty, so there will come a new season for me. Beauty will come from these ashes. It has already given me much more compassion and understanding for those who are grieving from the loss of a loved one. Storms do not last forever, the sun will shine again. There will be more memories made and good times to come with my remaining family. This pain will lessen. In this I have hope.
Thank you for taking the time to read what’s on my heart as I continue my journey through this tough season. I hope we will get together again next week as you settle down someplace quiet. Maybe by the window, admiring the beauty of just- bloomed tulips as you sip on a cup of coffee with a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven blueberry muffin, as we talk about what is on my heart, but most importantly what I am learning from it. Because sometimes, as such is the case presently……it’s a process.
As always, God bless.
Karen Sparks Steinhauser is an Estill County native who currently resides in Richmond, Kentucky. She is a Christian children’s author and speaker. If you wish to contact her or schedule her for an event, you may reach her by email at Karensteinhauser7@gmail.com.