A Season of Change

By Laura Edwards

The red and gold hues of fall have become the dominant color in the Charlotte landscape in the few weeks I’ve been back home from our adventure out west. The nights are cooler, and the days are shorter. Last weekend, we headed up to Carrigan Farms north of town for a hayride and pumpkins straight from the pumpkin patch. And yesterday marked one of the most exciting days of the year for Taylor.

Halloween rivals Christmas for the title of “T’s Favorite Holiday,” and she never takes it lightly. The “Is it time to put on my costume?” questions started early yesterday morning and didn’t end until the answer transitioned to “yes.” She was a queen bee – an identify of her own creation and my favorite costume yet. She came bounding down the steps around 5:30 in her yellow and black striped tights, gold Mardi Gras beads, black leotard, glittery wings and fuzzy antennae that bounced with each step she took. Even the pouring rain wasn’t able to dampen her spirits, and we squeezed every last drop out of the 30-minute break in the rain to take her from door to door.
After Halloween, the rest of the year is a blur. Thanksgiving will be here in three weeks, and the malls will be decorated for Christmas shortly if not already. And then, before we know it, 2009 will be only a memory.

Soon it will be four years since our first fundraiser, and though research is in an infinitely better place than it was four years ago, the disease continues to haunt us where it hits hardest – at home. Despite her straight As and bright smiles and a spirit that even a trick-or-treat-trashing rain can’t touch, the disease is within her more than ever before. The brilliant autumn reds and golds – colors she can no longer see – mark yet another season of change.

Three years ago, I wondered if T’s strained night vision would keep her from trick-or-treating. Her vision has left her now, though – and it is the least of my worries. How much longer, I wonder, will she be able to walk the neighborhood streets and ring doorbells of her own power?
The leaves are falling in earnest now, and soon, only bare branches will grace the backdrop of endless sky. And after the last leaf has fallen, and the nights have turned bitter cold, I will be left only with the one word that has carried me through these haunted years: BELIEVE.

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