Fall again

Stephanie loved the fall. She got excited about the leaves turning to light the trees on fire. She loved the crisp air, even though she was cold if the temperature dipped below 80. She loved pumpkin anything, especially if it had the word “Starbucks” in it. And there was no greater excuse for her to bake constantly.

But she loved fall for another reason. And it was my favorite reason for the summer to come to an end: her birthday.

She breezed in right at the beginning of October; a fact that she quite enjoyed. She would have turned 35 today. (She barely made it past 33.) I would have racked my brain for months trying to decide what spectacular thing I could do for her celebrating a “5” birthday, worried the entire time that I could have done better, and knowing the entire time that she would absolutely do better when it came my birthday.

But here I am, writing for the world to see. And hoping, that if the world can read this, maybe she can, too. Happy birthday to the most beautiful, most caring, most loving, most compassionate, sweetest, and — [list cut short so as not to break the Internet] — woman I have yet to know. You made the years you were here count so much that it’s hard to imagine you could have poured any more life and joy and love into those around you.

Whenever summer turns to autumn, I can’t help but think of you, Stephanie. Your name is synonymous with autumn in my mind. You made me love the fall more than I ever had. And now I also hate the fall more than I ever have. It’s painfully fitting that you died in your birth month and your favorite season.

I praise God for bringing you into the world on this day 35 years ago. And I thank God and you for who you are. You changed everyone around you for the better. Just like your daughter after you, you radiated joy and you brought it into the room along with you.

I love you. Brady and Halle love you. And we miss you.

It’s fall again. Happy birthday!

18 thoughts on “Fall again”

  1. Brad, Stephanie was always such a good celebrator of birthdays. I remember when she gave me a birthday do-over one year because mine went poorly. She understood how special they were. I’ve always been terrible at remembering birthdays and celebrating them properly – just one of the many ways that Stephanie was such a better person than me. Even though I’m awful at birthdays, I was so glad to be coming to visit so close to her actual birthday two years ago. Every time I think of Stephanie, I thank God that I got to celebrate her last birthday with her in the small way that I could.

  2. Gina said: Brad, Stephanie was always such a good celebrator of birthdays. I remember when she gave me a birthday do-over one year because mine went poorly. She understood how special they were. I’ve always been terrible at remembering birthdays and celebrating them properly – just one of the many ways that Stephanie was such a better person than me. Even though I’m awful at birthdays, I was so glad to be coming to visit so close to her actual birthday two years ago. Every time I think of Stephanie, I thank God that I got to celebrate her last birthday with her in the small way that I could.

  3. Brad, it wasn’t that Steph was a better person, you are an incredible person! She was your complimentary person! In the areas that you were lacking she was strong…in the areas she was lacking you were strong!

  4. Brad, it wasn’t that Steph was a better person, you are an incredible person! She was your complimentary person! In the areas that you were lacking she was strong…in the areas she was lacking you were strong!

  5. Beautifully expressed. I think of Stephanie every day….when I bake…. when I try a new recipe…..when I make banana bread (that was one of our last conversations — looking for theeee best banana bread recipe :)…..I think of her many times over come Fall. Happy Fall, Stephanie….Happy Birthday sweet angel.

  6. Beautifully expressed. I think of Stephanie every day….when I bake…. when I try a new recipe…..when I make banana bread (that was one of our last conversations — looking for theeee best banana bread recipe :)…..I think of her many times over come Fall. Happy Fall, Stephanie….Happy Birthday sweet angel.

  7. She is the one who introduced me to “birthday weeks” –even birthday months :) Why not extend the celebration?! she would say. She taught me a lot about family… and food! The other day Luke and I had a very rare date night and when we met at the door, we were matching. Something that I usually avoid at all costs! But it made me think of Stephanie and how she took great care to dress her family and loved coordinating outfits for Sunday and anytime you guys were together. So in honor of her, I didn’t go change and wore my matching clothes proudly :)

  8. She is the one who introduced me to “birthday weeks” –even birthday months :) Why not extend the celebration?! she would say. She taught me a lot about family… and food! The other day Luke and I had a very rare date night and when we met at the door, we were matching. Something that I usually avoid at all costs! But it made me think of Stephanie and how she took great care to dress her family and loved coordinating outfits for Sunday and anytime you guys were together. So in honor of her, I didn’t go change and wore my matching clothes proudly :)

Leave a Reply