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October 24, 2015

When Autumn Begin to Fall in Michigan

 

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When Autumn Leaves Begin to Fall in Michigan

Autumn is my favorite time living here in Michigan.

Bright color of the leaves.

Chill in the air.

The innocent enthusiasm of college football.

Halloween fun.

But it’s also a bittersweet season.
 
Each year, as red leaves turn to yellow, fade and fall, I’m reminded of the story about the little girl, losing her Mother to a rapidly advancing and incurable disease.
 
The doctor, and the little girl’s father, try to prepare the child for the loss.
 
“When will my Mommy die?” the child asks the doctor, who replies: “When the leaves begin to fall.”
 
Six months later, in late-October, the father looks out the window of their home. 

There, in the front yard, is the little girl, trying to paste fallen leaves back on the Maple tree.
 
Of course, we can’t paste leaves back on a tree. Any more than avoid death of those we love.
 
Still, at the end, we have our memories to cherish.

My tiny, Irish mother doing the family wash by hand – with crooked arms broken in childhood.

Her saying, late in life and lonely, “Come on Jimmy, let’s go sit on the porch and talk.”
 
Yes, I remember.

When autumn leaves begin to fall in Michigan.

(Photo below:  Jim Richmond with his Mom, Mary Honora McNamara Richmond, shortly before her death at 88, in 2003.  Hometown Atchison, Kansas  family gravesite.)

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