Monday, August 1, 2011

Life Anew

We planted a memorial tree in our yard on Austin's first birthday in Heaven, July 8, 2009.  He would've been 15 that year.  I don't remember what type it was but I specifically picked it because it bloomed in July. 

The tree is planted directly in front of Austin's bedroom window and each time we are outside, no matter the season, it reminds us of him.  That first year we babied it, caring for the tree in hopes that it would grow and bloom in time for his next birthday. 

Last summer, our family gathered in the backyard, on what would've been Austin's 16th birthday.  The tree had grown several feet and was in full, glorious bloom.  Bursting with red leaves and tiny white flowers, it was beautiful and gave each of us such a lovely connection to Austin.

I've since moved my office into his old bedroom.  It's where I write most of my posts for the blog, as being in his room draws even more inspiration for me.  This past February, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the tree covered with ice crystals in the snow.  Light danced across the branches, glistening like tiny diamonds, and watching the tree filled me with peace. 

This spring I was disheartened when I realized new buds were not appearing as usual.  The tree was still dry and brown, and no sign of green peeked through to show new life.  I kept willing it, encouraging the tree to bloom, but it did not.  By July, I tearfully commented to Tim that I didn't think it would bloom for his birthday.  We discussed what we should do, cut it down and plant something new...or hope for the best. 

The week of his birthday, we discovered a special surprise.  Growing off the dead tree was a sprout of new life.  A new tree was growing off the old one.  It began to shoot up so quickly, it was leaning to the side for lack of space from the dead branches.  I wish I had taken a photo before Tim cut the dead away.  It was such a visible example of two lives, one finished and one new.  If you look close, you can see a piece of the old tree, which we were not able to cut away for fear of killing the new growth.

"Behold, I make all things new." - Revelations 21:5

While we weren't given the brilliant display as last summer, the tree presented us with a beautiful gift for his birthday.  As this tree was planted in his memory, seeing the new life form directly from the dying branches was so touching to us.  It was a perfect example of the new life our sweet boy now has in Heaven.  Now, whenever we are outside, or I look out upon it from my desk at his window, I'm reminded of the promise of new life we all have in Christ. 
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
- 2 Corinthians 5:17


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