As the leaves turn from green to yellow, red and orange, then to a dead brown that will eventually crunch under my feet, I think of my brother. Autumn is my all time most adored season. My brother, my first friend, was an Autumn baby. With all of the colors and smells of fall it seems right that he was born in this season. It also seems rightly so that the cold hard hand of winter would be the season in which he went away.
For his previous birthdays I have written a blog post about him, these mostly focused on my grief and the hole that has been felt by his choosing to leave; but this year…this year I think I see can see passed his leaving. This year I can see more.
I love standing in my yard watching the leaves float to the ground from the trees. I breath in the sweet tangy smell of fall and it refreshes something in me, it reminds me of something and for a while I cannot put my finger on it. But then the realization wakes in me like the dawn of a new day. It smells like life. Isn’t that odd given that this is a season of dying away? Maybe it’s because Texas winters are cold, wet and dreary and summers are like a hot skillet? Fall just seems to be the time in which our neighborhood comes to life with activity.
It is here in this moment when I realize that November 1st is approaching. I wait for the sting. I wait for the center of my chest to feel like it is going to cave in; but it doesn’t come. I’m taken back by this surprising non reaction for a moment. What does this mean? I search my heart for answer. I question my loyalty, the care I have for my brother, a million things. I’m still sad that my brother is gone but I can see the hand of God covering the ache I once felt. The pain no longer holds me captive because I trust that God had a million reasons for Allen’s passing. I trust that God searched my brother, perceived his thoughts and that there wasn’t a place that my brother could hide from Him – no matter the darkness.
It is in this that I have found freedom to trust, to let go, to breath and to live. I think of some of the lyrics to “How Can It Be”…
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one
You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be
I wonder to myself ‘How can it be? How can I have this freedom?’ It is because of Christ.