Archive for October 1st, 2021


October -Les_Très_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry_octobre

October– From Les Tres Riches Heures by the Limbourg Brothers, circa 1415

October enters the picture.

I was going to write something this morning about the fact that my dad died on this date last year and link it to how the mythology of families is diminished and lost whenever an older family member dies. Their stories, their triumphs, and their regrets often go with them to the grave.

Part of that comes from the fact that we often downplay our own lives and experiences, thinking that they were not much different than those of anyone else. Another part is that other family members are too busy living their own lives to listen or ask or can’t see the relevance to their own existence.

I know that was true with myself. I sorely regret not asking more questions about the lives of my parents and grandparents. None were celebrities or lived big lives that would ever fill books. But all had lives worth exploring.

For example, my grandfather was a professional wrestler and vaudeville stage manager long before he married my grandmother, who was raised amidst the lumber camps of the Adirondacks that her father operated. I am sure both had incredibly interesting stories to tell about the experiences and people they met along the way. But they weren’t storytellers and their children didn’t seem to care nor did they share much of what they did hear.

And now all of their children– my last uncle died a few months ago from covid-19 — are gone as well. Their parents’ stories and their own now mostly lost except for a few stories retained by the next generation. Which is my generation and there’s not much left to tell.

I certainly wish I had asked more questions and listened more deeply when those folks were around. Once they’re gone you realize how little you really knew of them or their lives. Does anyone know what their parents or grandparents might say if asked if they could describe the best day of their lives or their childhoods? We’re probably more likely to know what their worst days would have been since tragedy makes deeper and wider marks on most families.

Don’t know where this is going or where it will end. I already wrote much more than intended. I guess, to sum up, I just wish I had paid more attention when some of these people were around.

There are so many questions now and no way to get the answers.

And it’s October. Both in this calendar year and in my life. The days get shorter and cooler and as leaves fall and foliage dies back, the light changes and you see the world outside with a different perspective.


Here’s an old U2 song to mark the day. It’s October from the album of the same name that was released in this month in 1981. Forty years. I was going to put an exclamation point on that last sentence but the realization of how much time has passed sapped all my energy.


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