Years ago, when my beloved grandmother was nearing the end of her life and struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, I paid her a visit in the institution that was to be her final home and resting place.
I was a young man then, with more freedom and strength than I knew, but like anyone else I had my troubles, and some of them seemed to me just plain overwhelming. When I sat holding my grandmother’s hand I knew that things were hard for her and that they probably always had been, but I had to ask her anyway: “Grandma, does it ever get any easier?”
She paused for a second, seeming to think about the answer before delivering it, but then when she did say it out loud it sort of caught both of us by surprise. Her answer: “No…. but you do get a lot of apples.”
I had to laugh, and so did she. I’m laughing still, although my dear grandmother’s been gone for nearly 10 years now. We both laughed because we both knew she was given to saying things that didn’t make perfect sense, at that point. And here was something that made perfect sense, even if accidentally…
I’ve noticed this fall that it’s been a good year for apples. I got a bag of Macs on the roadside in New Brunswick, for 5 dollars. Crunchy, tangy, shiny apples. Lots of them. After all, you DO get a lot of apples. You really do. And it’s something to be very grateful for.
Here I am working out my new direction in life, and what should land practically in my lap, but a giant bag of apples fresh from the orchards of Northern New Brunswick. You can call me lost, and sometimes I surely am, but what those apples tell me is that when all is said and done, I’ve been one very lucky man.