September always causes me to think of the very first song that I composed. The song that opened the front door of my heart, so I could go in and Spring-clean the other rooms. This is the story behind the song, “Farewell September” (Noelle’s Theme).
It was the morning of 20 September. You know, the day when you know you won’t be leaving your screen doors open anymore. There was a definite chill in the air, and I went to shut my door. I spoke to Fall, and said, “Go away Fall, you are not welcome here.” Hah, Like I had control over the seasons.
That morning I felt a shift taking place in me. There I stood at the door, looking out at all the things I loved about Summer. My beautiful flowers and gardens, my swimming pool, the beautiful sunshine and warmth that this season brings. Summer is hard for me to let go of.
As I started to shut the door, a feeling overcame me, and I looked out and spoke to Her! (you did know Fall is a Female, RIGHT?) I said, “Well, ok Fall, you can come in. After all, it is your season! Right then, I just totally let go of summer!
The piano is next to the door where I was standing, and I had a strong desire to sit down and write a song. Yes, about the seasons! Now let me tell you, if I counted all the songs I had written up to that point in my life, I could have counted them on one hand.
So, I sat down at the piano and started playing. The song came out of me so fast – out from my little toe, up my legs, and down through my arms onto the keyboard – in just 10 minutes! I was so surprised at what was happening, but I also knew the song was not finished. For the next 20 minutes, I worked on the last part of the song. When it came, I was overcome with emotion. It was just beautiful, and I wept at the piano. The realization of what I had written, with the emotion I had just released, was powerful.
This was not a song about the seasons. I now knew it! It was a song about a 35-year-old mother of three little ones. That mother was my daughter, Noelle, who was dying of cancer. We had been to see her in August to say goodbye. Then returned home, hoping for a miracle. Then on 15 September, we received a phone call that she had passed away.
There I was, almost to the day, 20 September, trying to hang on to a season that was finished! Now, three years later, a beautiful gift was given to me through this song – to trust and just let go! Fall was telling me, “Summer is over! MOVE ON!”
I think it took me about a year after I wrote the song to realize that it has three parts. The first part is my sadness, and grieving for the loss of my daughter. The second part is the celebration of her life, which was so full and happy. The third and the hardest emotion for me to release was the realization of letting her go home. Back to God.
What a wonderful gift that God has given me that I am able to share with so many.