The Family Tree

Yesterday, we said good-bye to a tree. “Sounds silly”, you say? Well, this tree was a hundred years old, and carries with it years of memories and emotion. It was a Maiden Blush apple tree that I have known for forty years. When I moved in next door to Ada Warren, she brought over an apple pie that she made from the produce of this tree. There is still a watercolor in her desk drawer that I did of the tree for her birthday. Her grandson is now my hubby. He has made countless pints of apple sauce with his grandmother, and then his parents while they lived in this house. He has perfected the art of making apple pie which I admit is better than mine. All the neighbors have used the apples for their favorite recipes too. And we made sauce together this year with out sugar. We bring it to the ailing, assured of its medicinal power. Many bugs and birds have made a home in the tree, until it grew hollow and without its original limbs. It was held up by a crutch these last few years and was very weary. Some of the good wood will be modeled into a keepsake while the bark and roots were sent over the bank to blend in with the ivy and the mulch. The front yard looks terribly empty now. Uncle Terry and Aunt Dori watched with us as we said, “Thank you”, to the tree for all its bounty and blessing. Together we feasted on the penultimate pie, while the last one remains tucked in the freezer. Good-byes are so difficult when they represent the last time together to enjoy one another. People, pets, and even trees provide comfort and care that we desperately need. Good-bye leads to transitions and changes in the way we feel. Life can be very lonely when we lose something we cherish. Some things can be replaced, but not people. Each person is unique and valuable in some way. So, how do we manage after loss? Happy remembrance is the first step. Continuing in the footsteps where our loved ones made a positive difference, is another way. Connecting with someone who can help in the areas where we are weak may be a good idea. And here comes my favorite: lean into the Lord for spiritual strength.
There will be more sauce and pie from the two baby trees that were grafted from the grandma tree. Thank you to mama Cordell for thinking ahead. The tree does represent all the love our parents and grandparents poured into us. We hope for many opportunities to pass this love to the next generations. Our children are the apples of our eye, but there is enough love for anyone who needs some. Come over if you want a piece of the pie.

written by Kim Cordell