I have half-read novels and shiny coffee mugs and stories I wrote down and stories I lived. There's even a story I started writing about you 2 years before you passed through earth into the sky. I never saw beauty and light be ravaged and extinguished as heart achingly fast in my life. I gave up trying to help you and had to close the curtains. Every night you were aching and restless I wish you stayed home. Every day you wanted to feel better, I wish you battled it out until you could walk in the sunlight without needing to get high, higher than 29 shiny yellow birthday balloons you'll never see. I'll never know why you left us in July but it was only now, in October, I feel close to tears every day. When I'm driving that stretch of highway to work I think about you. You really are gone. The finality of it all is stark and cold like standing alone on a stage with no audience, no script, no lights. You left when the hydrangeas were the most beautiful blue and now they are gone. Replaced by imperfect, veiny, red or yellow leaves on the ground. The outdoor patios of July are closed off, now. There's scarecrows and harvest moons and cold, dark nights. There's something about the howl of the Autumn night winds that remind you of past lives, loves, and losses. It'll remind you Summer was just a couple of sunny avenues away. But you wrote the end of your story sloppy and disjointed, closed the pretty ballerina jewelry box and left us with late season sunflowers and the howl of an Autumn wind.