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It's Just a Maple Tree- or is it?


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Two of our family's littles helped their Pawpaw ( my brother-in-law) cut down my maple tree that was perishing beyond redemption today. I love them. They eased the blow of losing my maple tree. I was sad to see it fall. It was one we purposefully left in our front yard when we built our house 19 years ago. I remember John and I surveying our yard and picking out a few trees that we wanted to protect as our house was built- this one and 2 magnolia trees. 

Now it is a stump. Sometimes that is the way grief feels- like a part of one's heart has died and all one is left with is a stump. The heart keeps beating, but never the same. Of course, new growth eventually comes, (well... So I am told) but the stump, the reminder, remains and the heart is forever changed by the death of the one you love. 

Enter somewhat good news.... One is also forever changed by the LIFE of that person. There is a difference. It gets all tangled up into a ball of yarn that any playful kitten could get lost in for hours, but when things settle down in our minds, moments of peace reveal themselves as memories of a good life peek through.

I long for more moments of peace. For the past 2 days, I have felt like I am not going to make it. I feel like I am going to die- literally. Sometimes I want to. I want my life back. I want my John back. I want my sanity back. 

There was more to that maple tree than wood. It symbolized a moment in time when we were really "we," making decisions together. I want peace... Desperately.

Mary Beth 

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Mary Beth,

My neighbor made a planter out of the stump left in her yard.  In the summertime it's beautiful, filled with flowers.  I like that, it's kind of like the scars of life, we suffer pain and loss but when we can turn them into a thing of beauty, well that helps.  It speaks of resilience.

I could relate to your feelings...I grew up in the house my mom lived in for 59 years, her and my dad built it when I was a baby.  We had to sell it when she had dementia, to pay for her dementia care facility.  The developers that bought it did a beautiful job of renovating the home but they took out most of her landscaping, which she was good at, and it was heartbreaking.  When I asked them about it, they said the wanted to save the Sweetgum tree, which was one of my favorites, but alas they discovered rot in it and it had to go.  Seeing her Rhododendrons and trees cut down (she had a magnolia tree too) was very hard, not only because it was a piece of my mom being stricken away, but also my childhood.  I remembered each and every tree when it went in.  I still feel an attachment to trees and hate to see them cut down.  They recently did a clearcut behind my property on the other side of the creek, I am still grieving it.  It changes habitat and wildlife haunts.

I like your analogy of the stump.  Maybe you will consider turning it into a planter for flowers to grow.  Things may not remain the same, we'd give anything to have our old lives back, but we learn to carry them with us and let God do something beautiful in us even with all the pruning and pain we feel on our journey.

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