Wednesday, May 5, 2010
A Tale of Two Trees
This week we added a new tree to our back yard. It is the second time we've planted a tree for our babies, only this time the circumstances are different.
Our first tree was a Bradford Pear. We purchased it and planted it in 2002 after we went through our first miscarriage. We've watched it throughout many seasons and it has been a sweet reminder of God's faithfulness as we've watched it grow, especially when the new leaves and little white blossoms appear each spring after its branches have been bare. (I've written about that tree before in this post.) It remains very special to us and has gone on to represent all six of our precious little ones that were born into heaven.
We have a pretty spacious back yard, but it soon became obvious that it wouldn't be practical to plant a large tree for each child we lost. Instead, we nurture that one tree and keep pretty flowers planted around the base all year round. I can see that tree every single day when I wake up and open the living room blinds to let the sunshine in. I love that tree because it reminds me of our love for our children, the desire to keep pressing on, and the growth that has taken place in our lives and hearts over the years.
I watched a couple of days ago as my sweet husband worked on planting a new tree. It was a labor of love, which is exactly how we feel about what this journey has been.
It has been hard, too. So hard. But what kept us going was the hope for new life. So many times the new life was only with us for a few weeks or a few months before we had to say goodbye. But that older tree doesn't represent death, of course. Like this new tree, it also represents life! The babies we lost here are living an eternity in heaven where we'll join them one day for a sweet reunion. I'm not sure exactly what that will look like, but I have faith that one day I'll see them face to face.
The yard is now home to a brand new tree, this time a Crape Myrtle. We purchased this tree in honor of our baby who will be born on earth and placed in our arms in September. (Please let it be, Lord.) When it blooms later this year, it will be a beautiful display of light pink blossoms, perfect for a new baby girl! This one is planted outside of our bedroom window, a spot in our home that desperately needs shade and a break from the blistering Texas heat.
Both trees are special. Both stand as symbols for hope and life and growth. But they represent different times in our life, different steps on our journey, and different chapters of our story. One day our daughter will know the story of her little tree, and she'll know the story of that bigger tree that honors the memory of her siblings.
I want to leave you with a couple of quotes that have become favorites of mine. Just today my friend Amy sent this one to me in a message:
When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
And finally there is this one, which speaks volumes and volumes to me:
"Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do."
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
As always, sending love and prayers to those of you who are waiting.