fall brings back so many memories, good and bad. because fall marks the start of school, it always seems like fall is the season of new beginnings. i graduated from high school and moved to boston to go to college 13 years ago; september 11 happened 13 years ago this Thursday; life changed for me and my family and it will never be the same again. the fall is also the time of year that my mother's father passed away, 10 years ago, and my father's mother, 6 years ago today. yet three years ago, i applied for business school in the fall, and two years ago i started at columbia. last year in late summer, i married shawn, and our young marriage started after we returned from our honeymoon on labor day weekend. so, my relationship with fall is a complicated one.
with all these memories and milestones swirling around in my head, here is what i am grateful for today:
- my grandmother, josephine ernst, who passed away 6 years ago today. whenever something big and important happens in my life i still feel a sense of loss because i'm not able to call her up and tell her about it. i missed her so much at my wedding and when i was going through all the planning -- she would have loved it all so much. i also miss her cooking constantly -- especially these anisette cookies she used to make me every christmas at my request. i can't seem to get the recipe right without her around (and they're really bad for you anyway). but i also feel so lucky to have had such a genuinely loving, caring, fiercely loyal and selfless grandmother, who contributed greatly to who i became as a woman. i can feel her in my attitude and opinions and i see her everyday when i look in the mirror. as my dad said in his eulogy for her (which i helped him write), i know she is waiting in heaven for us all with a giant pot of gravy and meatballs. because she knows we'll be hungry when we get there, and its important that we're all fed.
- my friends from college, especially jennifer, jodi and nicole, who i'm so lucky to still be close with today. college was such a transformative and influential time in my life -- like it is for so many people. i'm so lucky to still be good friends with these incredibly accomplished, driven and intelligent women. one day we'll rule the world.
- new york city - the only place that has felt like home since i left my parents' house at 18. i can't believe its been nearly 9 years since i moved here officially. plus, i love nyc in the fall!