October is my favorite month. I used to pretend that the leaves were changing for me, sometimes I think I still believe it. My birthday is on the 17th of October, and every year in Kentucky around that date everything starts to change. The air gets crisp, the leaves start falling, and the smell of roasting wood floats around on the breeze, just tempting you to get out your sweaters and boots. It’s my favorite time of the year because everything changes. There is possibility for everything to change.
A friend of mine pulled out this video the other day. I looove the Madea movies. She is so hilarious she will get me rolling every time, so you can imagine I was surprised that when my guy friend pulled out a Madea video while we were having a serious conversation. I was even more surprised when I realized that this may just be the most serious Madea video on the face of this earth, but it is something people really need to hear. I know that I did.
It’s only a four minute video, and it is definitely worth watching, especially after all those cat videos I know ya’ll spend your time watching, but I will give you the gist anyways. Basically, you are like a tree, and you have three types of people in your life: you have the leaves, you have the branches, and you have the roots. Now the leaves and the branches are usually only there for a season, but the roots are there to stay.
I have struggled with this concept my whole life. While I may love seasons in the weather, in my life the last thing I want is change. I want Spring all the dang time. I want all my leaves, and all of my branches too. You see I am consistently trying to make people into roots in my life. I guess I just want to believe that if I like you, if I care for you… then you just need to stay, and that’s not always the case. You see, people come into our lives for a season… for a reason. Sometimes they need to teach us something, or we need to teach them something. Sometimes we just need someone to help us grow.
In college I had a best friend come to me and tell me that she was saying goodbye. She said she couldn’t do life anymore. It was too hard, and she was ending her life that night. I begged until my lungs were blue trying to get her to see that her life was priceless, and nothing that she was going through was impossible to get through, but she couldn’t be consoled. I didn’t know what the right thing was. I didn’t know what to do, so I did the only thing that I thought I could do and I told a counselor. Then came the worst night of my life. I will never forget that night. The school had a policy that if someone threatened to kill themselves they legally had to be taken to the hospital to get mentally evaluated. The counselor was going to tell her personally, but I said no. I had done that to her. I had to tell her. I walked into her room feeling like the biggest traitor on the planet, and when I told her we both sobbed. I stayed with her all night. We went to two different hospitals, and God the way those nurses treated her made me want to punch someone in the face. They treated her like a mental person, when she was just like everyone else. Just in a season where she was trapped in sadness. Not able to see out of the fog of her own emotions. After it was all over, she asked me to stay with her that night, until her Mom came the next day. I left the next morning with a heavy heart, because ultimately I felt like I had betrayed my friend, even though maybe I saved her life. I wont ever know I guess, because after that day she gradually faded out of my life.
Maybe I was just a leaf in her life. There to keep her from making the ultimate mistake that cannot be taken back. I don’t know, but I do know that there are people placed in our lives for a temporary purpose, and like I can’t stop fall from ushering in the winter, I cannot stop the seasons in my life.
We need to stop viewing seasons as a bad thing, because life changes are just a part of living. We also need to recognize that most people, even the ones that we want to keep the most, aren’t going to play a permanent role in our lives. Most people are just leaves, who will rush in, change our lives and rush out just as quickly. The important ones – they aren’t going anywhere. They will be there for every happy moment, every sad one, every embarrassment, every fault. Those people will be dug so deeply into your life that no matter how life turns, you will always have them, and that my friends… that is everything. So let the leaves fall. And breathe. Spring is always just around the corner.