Monday, April 2, 2012

The Family Tree

Unlike most years, I had started thinking about my birthday earlier this time, usually it passes and I am unfazed. I thought about how this year was different. I've grown so much this year Spiritually having been placed in my wonderful little country church last summer.

Church was about the only thing I had to look forward to last summer as we worked from sun up until sun down on the house we later bought. The stresses of the summer are actually what drove me to that church in the first place.

As I watched the kids play, run and laugh this week while they were home on Spring Break, I knew this Summer would be different. We don't have to fix up the house, we don't have anything on our plates, but each other, and I look forward to that. We all pitched in this week and helped my husband work a new shed he's building. He had found some old windows in the barn that he proudly placed inside his new building. He told our children that he wanted to use the old windows because they were once in his Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house, and he knew they had looked out of those windows.

When darkness came that night, I knew it would be accompanied with a digit added to my age by the time I watched the sunrise the next morning. As I was drawn to the back of the house the morning of my birthday with my coffee in hand, I couldn't wait to see what The Lord had painted in the morning sky, I could feel myself looking out of our window panes. I thought about my husband's grandparents, and how special it feels living here, knowing they too walked on the same earth as we do now, knowing they picked pecans from the same trees and knowing that our little home and yard, is all that is left now that everything else has been sold off. There's an entire family that can walk through my yard and remember things they had long forgotten until their feet hit this soil.

I want the same for my kids, and for their kids as well. I went into prayer and thanked Him for giving me one more birthday. I can't believe I've been here this long already and He's given me so much...

I tried to think of something very special to do for my birthday, something we'd always remember. I knew in my heart what I needed to do. When everyone woke, we all made a quick trip to a huge garden center and bought life. We planted strawberries in a huge pot, placed on my patio. We bought six trees for my yard. I was determined to plant a cherry tree, just like my husband's grandparents had in their yard when he was growing up. He talks about that tree all the time and I knew it was special. We searched all over the busy garden center and there it was. A single tree, neglected by all the other shoppers but it was waiting for us...a fruit bearing cherry tree. My husband said it looked a little weak so we left it there while we picked out our other trees. When we returned, the little tree was still there, waiting for us to take it home, so we did.

We planted all six trees on my 37th birthday, on a Sunday, in the warm April 1st sun. I walked around to each tree and said a prayer at each one. We will love these trees, take care of them, and look at their beauty every single day from now on. My children will grow to love these trees, and their children as well. They may one day send their kids out in the yard for apples, pears, cherries, etc. and with each fruit tell stories of what these trees have lived through. Storms that pass may take branches, snow may one day dust their limbs and song birds may rest within those leaves, and they'll know that Mama was only 37 years old when we planted them.

Even if I am no longer here, they'll remember. Even if my speech is troubled, or my hands tremble with age, they'll remember. Even if my hair is full of silver and back crooks, they'll remember. Thank you Lord for another birthday.

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