Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lone Leaf

Three leaves rustling in the breeze caught my eye.  The tree had shed all its other leaves some time ago, but these three were still firmly hanging on.
My mind shifted to Maudene, a dear lady from church.  Though she hasn’t been well lately she was always a spunky lady with a quick smile and quicker wit.  After their husbands died, Maudene and her friends, Lois and Carol, attended church and Sunday brunch together every week.  They could always be found at the 11:00 service on the East side of the sanctuary about five pews back, heads together sharing a story and laughter.
Tenacious as the three leaves dancing on the branch over my head, these ladies held on.  Both Lois and Carol’s memories and thoughts became muddled over time.  Their bright minds darkened.  Both ladies died in their nineties.
It was bittersweet after this to see Maudene alone in their pew on a Sunday morning.  More than once we moved to join her.
What must it be like to be the last one holding tight, no one to dance in the breeze with you.  No one to share the stories and the laughter.  There is tremendous blessing in a long life, well lived.  Still, there must be pain and loneliness that comes of being the last one still holding on.  The lone leaf.
I pray for Maudene’s restored health.  I pray she doesn’t experience pain.  I pray that some day when her time comes, she is able to let go peacefully, and that her soul is caught on an updraft, the lone leaf dancing across the sky.

I wrote this several years ago.  Maudene is no longer with us.  Coincidentally, my daughter was hired by a local dental practice earlier this year.  The office is managed by Maudene's daughter, Marti.  

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