Friday, October 24, 2008

When October goes...

Contrary to what I wrote in the post above, I don't totally dislike October. (November and February, now, that's a different story... as I wrote in one of my very first posts last year.) The weather can still be pretty decent in October, the fall colours are at their peak (& Ontario has some of the most beautiful fall scenery in the world), and there is Canadian Thanksgiving to look forward to (which at the very least means a long weekend, if not turkey -- as it often does not for dh & me, who are often at loose ends on holidays, with my family far away & FIL often with stepMIL's relatives & BIL with his inlaws).

But there is a definite feeling of melancholy. Memories of all the deaths in my family that occurred in October aside, it's a time of year when things generally begin dying, as the weather turns colder, the days get shorter, and winter sets in.

Halloween? Well, that's a mixed bag. As a kid, of course, I loved it & looked forward to it all month long (who didn't??). Dh & I have always carved & set out a jack o'lantern & I've always enjoyed handing out candy to the kids who arrive on our doorstep. (We've never had fewer than 65 trick or treaters, and some years as many as 130.) At least, I did enjoy it. I still do, to some extent -- but these days, I also feel a lot of sadness -- for our own little pumpkin who never got to dress up or go for trick or treating, and for us, knowing we'll never have the experience of taking a child out for trick or treating -- Katie, or another child. (We've always lived just a little too far away to be able to go out with our nephews -- if we were ever even asked, which we weren't. And now they're too old for it.)

Oct. 31st is also year end at my workplace. Our results are generally reported in late November or early December, with our annual meeting in March. So October marks the beginning of the busiest time of year for me, extending right through the end of March. 10 years ago, I found myself thrust back into the workplace, pregnant no longer and babyless, right after Thanksgiving & caught up in the year-end rush I had gleefully been looking forward to skipping (for once!) -- at exactly the time I was supposed to be starting maternity leave. And every year, as Thanksgiving rolls around, I'm reminded of that.

All day today, as I thought of these things, I've had the melody of an old Barry Manilow song from one of my sister's albums running through my head (! -- yes, I used to like Barry Manilow -- still do, actually...!). I couldn't remember all the words, but I remembered the phrase "When October comes" or "When October goes" -- so I typed "Barry Manilow lyrics October" into Google & came up with this.

As I said -- I don't necessarily hate to see October go -- if I do, it's because I know November lies ahead...! But I can relate to the wistfulness of the lyrics (as well as the melody, as I remember it), the feeling of time passing, and the remembrance of happier days.

And when October goes
The snow begins to fly
Above the smokey roofs
I watch the planes go by
The children running home
Beneath a twilight sky
Oh, for the fun of them
When I was one of them
And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh how I hate to see October go
I should be over it now I know
It doesn't matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go


  1. There was something so beautiful and heart rending about this post. Thanks for letting me into your life.

    Remembering Katie.

  2. I miss the maple leaves turning colours in High Park where I used to live.

    Heh, heh, used to be quite the Barry Manilow fan when I was in high school. Sssh. I had about 15of his albums and went to a concert and even wore a button wih him. I loved that song, too.

  3. Great post Loribeth.

    I have the same mixed feelings about October. I love the fall colors, and missed them when I was away from the Northeast. I also love the chill in the air. Sweater weather.

    All this week though, I have felt sadness that I won't ever have the parenting experiences that come with Halloween - every time we pass a pumpkin stand, I think about carving pumpkins, and then there is going out trick or treating. In recent years, I don't even come to the door - my dh handles the door.

    And then, the end of October brings the family holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas - holidays I don't feel much like celebrating anymore.

    I guess it is time to focus on holiday traditions which are more couple-oriented. If the weather is good enough, we usually go on a morning walk, but we need to come up with a couple more ideas!

  4. This made me weep, Loribeth. Big, big ((hugs)) to you.
    No month is ever good for me now. I do love the autumn season though. But I do not like the piling on of the holidays that reek of consumerism. I guess if I am just alone with nature somewhere I would feel better.
    Thinking of you, and thanks for the tag! xoxoxo

  5. Hi Loribeth,

    Great post. Halloween is bittersweet for me, too. In fact, it marks the official season of hell. Holidays galore. A celebration of fertility and family. Our world is obsessed with a standard of living that is standard for everyone except us. All the "We'll never..." statements are so painful.

    I hate this time of year.

    And my maternity leave would have been just around the corner, too. (November 26). This thanksgiving will be brutal.

    Here with you,

  6. Year-end (which officially starts in October) coupled with all of the festivities associated with the holidays and years gone by surfaces all sorts of memories and wishes for a different sort of outcome. Sigh. Wishing you continued strength.

  7. Here with the mimosa. What a melancholy song. I can imagine his voice with the lyrics even though I don't know the tune.

  8. I just listened to it on You Tube. It is a melancholy song. That's not necessarily bad though.

  9. I'm going to go do a search of that song, Loribeth. I'll never really feel the same as I used to about this time of year.

    Beautiful, beautiful post.