A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, August 16, 2013


By Ilene Madrigal
It happened. I looked out my back door this morning and fall has officially arrived. The leaves, you know those green leaves that I have enjoyed so much all summer, have suddenly burst into a collage of yellows, reds, browns, and oranges against a gorgeous background of pine tree green. It is beautiful. It was so sudden. I don't know why I say that. The leaves have been whispering about it for weeks now.
It's not like it's any big surprise, but then humans are just never really prepared for the end of things. For some reason in the midst of savoring all the beauty around me, my mother popped into my head. It made me think about her growing older and how surprised I was when suddenly one day - it just happened.
My mother lived to be 97½ years old and all of us know that is a long life span, but somewhere along the line, it happened. I woke up one day and her eyes didn't look the same. I noticed they had that blurred look that comes with age. Now this is not a bad thing, but it seemed like it happened over night. I went to sleep and when I awoke, my mother was older. And like the leaves whose purpose has changed - no longer there to protect the branches - exhibiting one last expression of glory before they silently return to the earth - just as suddenly my mother had assumed a new role in my life. For awhile, I was almost angry with her. She was supposed to be strong - able to care for me - be my protector. It didn't matter that I was a full-grown adult; I was still her little girl.
The change will be rapid now with the leaves. Once they flame into color, it seems that in just moments one by one they flutter silently to the ground. In the blink of an eye their purpose will change from protecting the branches, sheltering the birds, and posing as a postcard picture of beauty, and they will lie uncomplaining on the ground gradually returning to the earth. The bare branches will tower over them watching them as they return to dust. Their mission for this lifetime accomplished.
And so it was with my mother. Suddenly our roles were reversed. No longer was she the strong one, my protector. I stood by her and watched as her purpose in life changed. And like the branches that will soon be bare and exposed to the elements, for a while I felt abandoned and unprotected - uncertain who this woman was reaching out toward me for my strength and protection.
I think about it all now - how unsure I felt in this new role of protector - how exposed to the elements without my mother to strengthen me. It was as if I had been thrust into this new place with no experience to fill it. I wonder if that is how she felt the first time she held me in her arms as a new parent realizing the great responsibility of caring for another life. Now it was my turn.
The change had been sudden - not really - but it felt that way - almost more than I could wrap my mind around. But gradually the roles reversed and when the time came, it was I who held her in my arms as she silently and gloriously completed her mission for this lifetime and made her transition to a new life. It was I, who was her strength and her protector as I held her in those final moments of her life - this woman who had given me life and had held me and protected me in the first moments of my life. Fall had officially arrived. And it was beautiful.
©2005 Ilene Madrigal

Ilene Madrigal has enjoyed a lifetime of projects, owning and operating a denture clinic, raising Labrador Retrievers and Arabian horses, farming, and operating a commercial fish farm while raising a family of five delightful children. In 1991, Ilene returned to college to obtain an English Degree. In 1992, she was awarded the "Orville Redenbaucher® Second Chance Scholarship" for her essay, "Intellectually Anorexic." It was then that she realized her potential as a writer. In 1996, after much soul searching, Ilene surrendered to her work as a Reiki Practitioner. As a result of this work, she authored A Tree of Silence, a book of simple teachings that helps one understand that unconditional love is the tool to complete healing. Ilene can be reached at gmadrigal@nc.rr.com or visit her websitewww.gypsylight.com

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