God's Paintbrush And A Reflection
I took this photograph on October 31, 2006, a block from home. I have merely to walk a few feet out into my front yard, from which point I can gaze at the "on fire" tree standing in front of the nearby country church built in the 1800's. And when I look at that tree, I see my mother, who so loved this time of year.
A few days before her passing, Mom and Dad took a long drive so that she could enjoy looking at the fall foliage, which reached its peak a bit earlier that this year's peak. Did she know that their drive that day would be her last opportunity to drink in the beauty of God's earthly creation? Perhaps, because she said, "You never know. This could be the last time I see the autumn leaves."
A mere five days later, most of the trees had shed their leaves. And Mom, too, was gone, having shed this mortal coil.
An early snowstorm surprised the D.C. area on the day of Mom's funeral. Like my mother's passing, winter of 1987 had arrived with suddenness. The chill of that year's early winter mirrored the coldness in my heart at my having suddenly lost both parent and best friend.
In these beautiful days of fall, as I do every year, I find myself thinking back to nineteen years ago. One day my mother was vibrantly alive, the next she wasn't — just as the autumn leaves around us are vibrant with color, yet at the same time preparing the trees for dormancy.