the wind shifts
and all shivers
as the ripples of repose
begin to spread
across the autumn land
For many years now, my mantra in autumn has been "just as the leaves change, so must I." Most often times, it is a conscious change but sometimes, it is forced upon by circumstances beyond my control.
In the late autumn of 2000, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As so many women know, it can be a trying time yet there there are always those unexpected gifts that show up. Susan Murphy was one of those gifts. I met her one evening after our support group meeting. She loved to talk and that night, we started a long conversation that would last for ten years.
This past autumn, I had the privilege of sitting at Susan's bedside as she prepared to leave this world due to advanced breast cancer. Like the last leaf on the branch, she clung to life for as long as she could, not wanting to leave this world and all that she loved.
In the months before her departure, we spoke of what would come next and although the discussions were deep and thoughtful, "what next" always remained a mystery. I smile now, knowing Susan has experienced this Mystery and more.
Difficult as it was, I am grateful for this experience. Once again those unexpected gifts arrived... new friends that were once Susan's are now mine; friendships that I know will last our lifetimes.
In her leaving, the colors of my life have indeed turned and I repeat my autumn mantra… just as the leaves change, so must we.
I know Susan has now found endless ripples of repose and incomprehensible peace. It is my hope and wish that we may each find it here on earth and in all that is beyond.
In memory of Susan Murphy
September 23, 1953 - October 31, 2010
Au revoir, my friend. I will miss you.