Yesterday, I had the privilege of listening to a comparison between age and seasons. With that being said, based on the comparison, I am in the Autumn of my life. Based on the comparison, the green of my life represents love and hope, the burned oranges and reds represent the happiness and accomplishments of my life, and the grey, well, the grey represents my understanding that death is not only real, but imminent. As you have read my blog, you are already aware that I am not afraid of death. To me, death is nothing more than peaceful rest. God knows that Life isn’t always peaceful. However, we push forward. As I experience the Autumn of my life, I am filled with so much joy. Honestly, I never believed I would have ever made it this far. I never believed that I would be able to do some of the things that I have actually done. I never believed that I would ever feel, much less, fall in Love. I did. The Autumn of my life.. Recently, my back went out. I have NEVER felt pain this extreme. In fact, I wouldn’t wish this sort of pain on my worst enemy. Who am I kidding? The truth of the matter is that I don’t wish any harm on anyone who considers me an enemy. I simply wish them the very things that all living things deserve; love, understanding, and peace. Now, back to the back pain. I couldn’t sleep, stand, sit, or walk. I screamed for the assistance of God, but my pain seemed to scream louder. Like I have done in so many aspects of my life, I endured. After a cornucopia of medications, I am finally beginning to feel a sense of relief. As I am feeling relief, I am reflecting. The problem with my back pain is that I remember the strong back that I never considered breakable. I remember doing front and back flips with no hands while tucking my knees. I remember playing football with guys much larger than myself. I remember wrestling with my friends. I remember walking everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. I remember that back. Based on my CT scan and MRI, that back is no more. Based on my CT scan and MRI, I have a new back. With medication, injections, physical therapy, prayer, and hard work, my new back has the potential of being greater than any back that I’ve ever had. Why? This new back sets limits on how much I can carry. My old back carried more than it should have. God knows that I’ve carried the crosses of things that I should have let go of quite some time ago. My new back doesn’t have room or strength for unnecessary crosses. At 51, my new back will carry Love, dreams, beautiful memories, hope, and a keen understanding of time. 51… I don’t know how many days I have ahead of me. However, I do remember the days I left behind. With all that are left, I will live. As each color has a representation, each day has meaning. I will laugh from my stomach, cry from my heart, speak from my mind, and live in my purpose. I am 51. This is Autumn. I have never been more blessed. Pain and all, I am blessed….Patrick

This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. Also, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. As always, Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.

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