Christian Living

Falling Leaves

I love the fall – windy, rainy, cool and crisp with the autumn smell of a hot summer day giving in to the cold winter night. I remember growing up on the farm with the fields of dried grasses bordered with trees bursting forth in a kaleidoscope of orange and red and gold and brown. The geese heading south overhead squawking their sad goodbye as they drift on by is a sure sign that cooler days are coming.

One of my most favorite memories from when I was a kid was my mom either singing or humming a little tune in the fall each year. I thought that it must be her favorite song since she sang it so much and now, even at 50 years old, that song still runs through my head this time of year. I even find myself singing it when no one is around, but I prefer to remember the sound of mom’s voice as I hum along…

“Come little leaves said the wind one day, Come over the meadow with me and play. Put on your dresses of red and gold, Summer is gone and the days grow cold. Soon as the leaves heard the wind’s loud call, Down they came fluttering one and all. O’er the bright fields they danced and flew, Singing the sweet little songs they knew…”

This little song has been running through my mind nonstop this fall, it seems, in a melancholy, ‘I wish you could stay but I know you have to go’ kind of way. It has been two years since Alzheimer’s lead mom out of this world. It is a terrible disease and it was heartbreaking to watch her drifting away as each last leaf of memory faded and fell and then one day she was gone…like the last autumn leaf on a swift breeze…I hope she danced and flew!

I don’t know why the Good Lord chose to bring her through that final season on her way to the mansion he built for her. It is almost like he had been calling her home for nine years but she didn’t want to go. Every now and then she would pick up a leaf and marveled at for a moment or two and then it fluttered back to the ground, never to be heard from again. Eventually there were just no leaves left. Maybe it was his way of clearing out all of the struggle and heartache that she had experienced so when she stepped over the threshold of her new home, there would be nothing but peace and happiness and joy…that is my hope as I still try to understand…

I just can’t get that song out of my mind…

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