Recently, this author has had occasion to come across a book called "The Fall Of Freddie The Leaf" written by Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.
This book has a copyright date of 1982. At first glance, "The Fall of Freddie The Leaf" appears to be a work for a younger audience. As it turns out, Leo was targeting all ages with this story. When taken altogether, this book tells the story of what life is, what it means to live, and how to deal with the various stages of life in a way that is fresh without any judgements about morals, faith, politics, race, ethnicity, social status, or financial class.
Leo uses his artistry in this story to give the reader a perspective on the process of dying as Freddie The Leaf falls from the tree, closes his eyes, and becomes just a memory of what he once was. In the book, Freddie did not know the snow would melt and he would break down to become part of the ground to nourish the tree he once was a living part of.
Each one of us in this big world gets to look at ourselves from the angles of reflection, introspection, and hindsight. As we stumble through our time on earth, we make decisions that are good, and we also make costly foibles we cannot help but regret. Living is much more than waking up each day only to repeat the mundane routines that make up the reality of our individual lives. Our time here is temporary.
As the trees and plants around us experience life cycles with each change of season, so are we also subject to changing seasons in our on lives that are more significant than the four seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall. We are dying from the time we are born in the most literal sense. As our lives mature, we can know the joy of being emotionally & spiritually alive. We can also know the process of emotional & spiritual death.
In the inside cover of the particular copy of this book I ran across was a handwritten dedication dating back to exactly November 1st, 1984 that said this:
May this book bring you new insights into the mysteries of life and help you better understand life's "formulas". The book will make a good companion and compassionate friend any year you read or re-read it.
Here's to better understanding, greater hope and dreams fulfilled.
Judy's mother sounds like a beautiful person who saw the wisdom in this book. I cannot say for sure if Judy's mother was preparing to leave us or preparing to say a temporary good-bye while passing on wise words of love to Judy. Maybe Judy was a young lady who was growing up and preparing to live her adult life among us where ever she may be.
It isn't everyday a person randomly runs across a treasure given to somebody from a person who is as important as a parent, and it isn't everyday a parent writes something so touching, profound, encouraging, and wise to their child. Leo put his heart into "The Fall Of Freddie The Leaf", and Judy's mother gave this book to her along with her heart and the warm memories that are obviously attached to it.
Judy may have willingly passed this book on to be treasured by someone else as she herself once treasured it, or it may have been lost and made its way through the hands of many. Whatever the circumstance, we can be sure of this: Leo's work and the special communication between a mother and her beloved daughter have touched the lives of people, one of whom thought it so highly that it just had to be written about and shared with the world.