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Little 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 52 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. I wonder if my mom still hears her kids singing this song as she looks out of her heavenly mansion window, or if the memories have all flitted away like the leaves in the song. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease and it was heartbreaking to watch mom fading away. I don’t know why the Good Lord chose to bring her through this season on her way to the house he’d built for her, but 4 years ago the last leaf of memory fell and she was gone. It is almost like he had been calling her home as each and every little memory faded and flew away like the leaves of an autumn tree.

Maybe it was his way of clearing out all of the struggle and heartache she had experienced so when she stepped over the threshold of her mansion in the sky there would be nothing but a future of peace and happiness and joy…that is my prayer as I try to understand. From time to time those of us who are left and remember this song will see a leaf drift by, hum a bar or two, and remember for a moment the impact she made on us…and then watch as it flutters back on the wind till next fall…

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

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