Winter in Chicago, Autumn in the Belly of the Whale

Autumn is very pretty and colorful. Autumn can be sharp and crisp. Autumn reminds me of beautiful pasts. Autumn inspires one to gaze forward in hopes of things to come. I am thankful for the fruits that Autumn has brought into this world by way of her children. Autumn, by the way is my favorite niece.

Isn’t it strange how names fit some people?

Autumn’s precious daddy passed away when Autumn was barely a toddler. Autumn grew up in a very harsh environment with a troubled and confused mother. Then, a couple of years ago her mother, my sister, passed away at a young 47 years. The circumstances surrounding the death were questionable to say the least. That was also the end of Autumn’s immediate family. There was no one left to guide her, or to help her through life’s challenges, but I. Albeit, she has her children, and they are very dear to her of course, and of much comfort. The children enforce responsible decisions. But they can’t comfort her through logical or spiritual discussion. From time to time the father of her children are part of their lives, that can be touch and go however.
For the most part she relies on me as the stabilizing rail in her decision making.

We discuss many things. We have talked about Winter in Chicago, Summer in Texas. We love to talk about business strategies, of which she is very good at by the way. At times Autumn and I discuss politics, current events, her feelings and sometimes even religion. Autumn questions and doubts the existence of God. And frankly I don’t blame her, she has seen the most ungodly side of life. She is no stranger to violence, emotional abuse and blackmail. She has lived through a house fire where her and her mother lost everything. The list of heartaches for Autumn goes on and on.

When we talk, I don’t tell her she must have God in her life. I only try and tell her why I do. I don’t try and make sense of the questions she poses about suffering, and war, or any of the rest of seemingly hypocritical atrocities that happen on earth. I only acknowledge that they indeed happen. I can’t explain the pain and I can’t take it away, as bad as I want too. I can’t answer her when she ask me where her parents and grandparents are. I don’t know if they are in heaven or in hell. But I do say that I believe they are in heaven. I do say that I hope one day all of those that we love and long for, will be united together with us. With her and I. And that hope gives gives me happiness. That happiness gives me faith. That faith I happen to find in the words of Jesus Christ. I then go on to explain that maybe, just maybe there is no God. Maybe Autumn is right. Maybe her questions are valid. Why should she believe the ascension of the apostles is true, what supports her believing of the resurrection of Christ. Her only indication is none of it’s true. I simply don’t know for sure. However I tell her that there is nothing to lose by hoping. There is nothing to lose by having the faith that it could be. However if that is what it takes for me to see mom, dad, and my sisters, and my brothers, and our other loved ones again then why in the world would I choose not too have that faith, in my deist sort of way? ” Why in the world would I not want to see you again after I pass”? I ask Autumn. To me, the choice is clear. I will grasp that belief with my heart, and I will hang on to that belief until my last breath and hopefully, faithfully, beyond my last gasp. I will leave here anxious and excited to see my loved ones. I will cry at the hopeful joy that it may possibly be. I want it so. That is why I try religiously to act in accordance with the values of my chosen faith. My hopeful faith. Not because I am afraid to burn, although I am afraid. Moreover I want to extinguish this burning in my heart of longing and loneliness. I have hope through my faith, and because of my belief in Jesus. I don’t have facts. I don’t have concrete evidence. I have love.

Autumn is strong . Autumn is courages. Autumn is a survivor. And I love Autumn, it’s my favorite time of the year.