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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

In This Issue: August 2022

As we enter the “Dog Days of Summer,” it sure has been that and more for me. The highs of having our oldest son home from his first year of college, celebrating another milestone birthday and taking a wonderful family trip came with the grief-stricken low of losing my mother.

In general, I have always felt blue when August arrives. When I was a kid, I packed in as much as I could into each later summer day just to try and make them last longer. I knew September was fast approaching and along with it, the return to school and all the routines that went with it: alarm clock wake-up calls, overfull schedules and lots of rushing around.

As a parent, I still feel that same melancholy. Soon we’ll be seeing off our college boy again, and we’ll be back to texts and phone calls, instead of face-to-face catchups and stolen hugs. Our youngest will be a high school senior, and I am already getting bombarded with checklists, senior portrait deadlines, reminders to submit baby pictures and order his last yearbook along with his cap and gown, all the while sitting back and grappling with the reality of what his last year with us with feel like.

Summer should be about relaxing and taking in what’s around us, appreciating slowing down and feeling less scheduled. Losing a parent has made me pause and feel thankful for those around me, the life I have and the life I still hope to live. It has also made me think about the footprint I want to leave my boys. Have I taught them enough of what they need to know? Have I given them enough memories to cherish and traditions to pass on to their own families someday? I often wonder if my mother had these thoughts. Did she ever feel like she missed anything or forgot to tell me something?

Summers of my youth with both parents were some of my fondest memories. I was allowed to be and do whatever I wanted, swim with friends, sit in the sun with a book, ride my bike, have dinner outside on the picnic table, go to Cape Cod, hop in the car for a drive, grab an ice cream and catch fireflies.

How do we keep the giddy feeling that summer gives us at its start in June knowing that in September autumn winds take hold? As I sit and count the days with the boys at home, enjoying late nights and even later mornings, I make time to reflect, look within and see what more can be accomplished. Rather than worrying about the future, we should all take a breath, so we don’t miss the here and now.

My uncle used to say, “Don’t put off what you can do today.” I last saw my mother in May, and I had hoped to visit her one more time, but I couldn’t find “the time.” This will be a summer I shall never forget and going forward I’m going to kick those Dog Days in the butt by being kind to myself, doing for others, living without regrets and loving up my family even more.

Wishing you all sun-filled days ahead!


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