Friday, April 30, 2010

Dear Willow, it is for you we weep...

Yesterday there was some sort of nasty weather front moving through and it was making a statement. There was no rain and no darkness in the sky, but there was wind. The kind of wind with gusts that shake your house and remind you that you are not invincible. And this wind shook not only the house but also our family.

This gorgeous baby willow grabbed our attention one day as we toured a nursery. We wanted a special tree, but we were not looking for a weeping willow. Maybe a sapling that promised to become a great maple or maybe even a towering birch. But this gentle little tree reached its delicate branches towards us (okay, maybe it was the breeze). Our logic jumped in to tell us that willows get huge, their roots are shallow and work their way into basements and septic systems. Avoid it. Do not buy it.

We bought it. It connected with us in some way that seems silly considering we are speaking of a tree. But this tree was planted in our yard, early in our marriage and shortly before our daughter was born. This tree seemed larger at the nursery but now seemed dwarfed by the scale of our home. But it was now part of our home and soon our newborn daughter would play under it. And soon after, her little brother would join in the fun. This tree, the ‘family tree’ grew as fast as our children.

The wind was howling as I folded laundry in the family room, I heard a very loud and grumbling noise. And then silence. I assumed it was the deck chairs being pushed around as if in a game of dodge ball. I headed onto the deck and began to fold and stack chairs so they could weigh each other down. But then I turned my head left and saw this:

I saw the weeping willow, looking defeated and hurt. I walked over to look closer at this poor limp tree all slumped on the ground. I stared for a moment and then went back inside to alert my husband. He came outside and we both stood there in silence.

All I could picture was the hurt that would be in my daughter’s eyes when she came home from school. My son was home and seemed more amazed than sad. However, as predicted, my daughter felt the pain. She is in mourning. It is an awful experience to see your child go through their first loss. No, it is not a person she has lost but a childhood friend nonetheless.

To be continued….