In stages, in degrees, that which happens slowly over time often escapes us. We do not experience the small changes, the graduation; the creeping, forward march of time until we consciously blink and see - as if for the first time - that something has changed.
Like the falling of leaves, the years of life drop off. One day, the leaves are bright red, yellow-peach and gold. The next, all but a few remain clinging to the tree.
---------------Noll is recovering from his graduation. The signs were there before my closed eyes. I did not notice the extra long naps, his quietness before the storm.
His medical write up says "senior blood profile." How did my baby Noll became a senior overnight? Did I not see the leaves falling year after year?
But there they are: Nine years since Noll stumbled into my life. Nine years of falling leaves.
I pray for another nine
and then, nine more.