Seasons of life
The red leaves outside mom and dad’s apartment at Aldersgate were filtering sunlight, making the tree glow. I was delighted seeing such bright colors in a fall that has been a little less radiant. Leaves were twisting and dancing in a cool afternoon breeze.
Dad had been hospitalized already for a week, and we were hoping for recovery. When the doctor’s assistant called and said it looked like his body was beginning to decline. He had not walked since entering the hospital, his mind often confused and most of the time, he slept. My three siblings and I took turns spending the night, close friends dropped in and family members came to visit.
When it became apparent that he was not going to recover, we drew close. We had a couple of psalters with us and quietly began to sing. Tears fell onto my glasses, notes got stuck in my throat. The last sense to leave us is hearing. Dad had long been hard of hearing, but these last two weeks, it seemed he did not miss a sound. We sang the next night too and watched him purse his lips together, yearning to join in song. The few words he spoke betrayed a voice slipped into bass.
Thursday was particularly busy with visits from grandchildren, siblings, and friends. Mom came by and kissed his forehead dropping a few tears on his face. An hour after midnight, dad breathed his last.
When my sister and I realized he was gone, we were not sad or overcome by grief knowing his faith transformed his death into life. He is taken to a place where there is no more suffering, no more sadness, no more death and no more tears. We know there is a time for everything under the sun, a time to plant, a time to uproot, time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to be born, and a time to die.
When we took mom home after the funeral on Tuesday, I noticed most of the red leaves on the tree outside had fallen to the ground.