By Don Lindsey
In a couple of weeks, we will be turning back our clocks, two of my kids are talking about what they’ll be for Halloween, and the house officially smells like pumpkin spice thanks to my wife who loves anything that smells of the stuff. All these things tell me that fall is in full swing.
Being from Ohio, fall in Florida looks much different to me. For starters, there’s still a lot of green grass and trees that won’t change colors. The temperatures are still leaning on the warmer side of the spectrum and there still feels like there’s more humidity in the air than I’m used to for this time of year.
With all of that said, there are also some similarities. While walking my dogs the other day I came across a section of sidewalk that had quite a few dead leaves. The shuffling and crunching sounds that they made as we walked over them transported my mind back to my childhood, raking leaves and then playing in them before they were bagged up. As I continued to stroll down memory lane, I realized that seasons aren’t just for being a title for a certain time of year, they also represent different life events and changes that I’ve been through. Some of those situations were wonderful and some not so wonderful but looking back, I see that every one of those incidences have shaped me into the person that I am today.
When I look back at the good times or seasons that have influenced my life, I see that every one of my memories relate to my wife, family and friends. When I remember tougher times, I am reminded that it was my faith, wife, family and friends that got me through those rough patches. It can’t be a coincidence that the same folks I share the joyful times of my life with are also the same people I fall back on to help when I am struggling. My gratitude for my loved ones goes beyond words and I can only pray that I am someone that they can trust to be there when things look bleak.
The more I think about it, the more I see that being a person who others can count on is one of the best things we can do as people. In my opinion being this type of person is something the world could use a little more of. Empathy and love go a lot further than hatred and anger and practicing this theory may help reduce some of the division we see in our society. I’m learning that it doesn’t take much to be a positive force in the lives of those around you. Just a smile or a kind gesture can accomplish the goal. Fact is, there are many simple ways that we can all influence the area around us in a way that builds up our environment. I find that the simplest way to achieve this is by being there for my loved ones. One of my biggest goals is to help them through their difficult seasons and celebrate the joyful ones with them. Celebrating their positive events is easy but the real work lies in showing them on a daily basis that they can lean on me when needed.
In other words, I want them to know that I’m their fall back person.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.