Monday, July 9, 2012

A Tree of Hope

I'm starting to see Austin uses trees to send us messages of love.  It makes sense.  Especially since Austin's Last Gift to us was through a Christmas tree. 

We lost Austin Thanksgiving weekend 2008 and our last day with him was spent decorating the house.  You can click the blue link above to read more about his gift, which included surprising us by putting together the Kid's tree, and in every touching moment of decorating the main tree in our living room.  It brought us such comfort that lonely Christmas season and is what's made us continue those traditions, even when our hearts disagreed.

On Austin's first Heavenly Birthday, we planted a tree in the backyard.  It's planted directly in front of his bedroom window and is in our line of sight when we're in our favorite spot on the deck.  I prayed over this little tree, asking God to let it grow.  I'd hoped it would bring us a bit of peace in the cloud of grief we were in.  As always with Austin, it's surprised us and exceeded our expectations in so many ways.

The tree had stretched to full bloom the week of Austin's 16th birthday.  Perfect timing for our family get-together to celebrate his life.  You can read more here:  2010 - Birthday Blooms.

Last year, my heart was heavy at the thought of losing that little tree.  Winter was hard and I was convinced it wouldn't bloom.  My lack of faith, I'd already contemplated how I could replace it with something that would lessen the pain come his birthday.  But again, God showed us how great He is....and reminded us of Austin's Life Anew with Him.

This season, instead of a hard winter, we've had a horrendous summer.  In fact, we really didn't have a spring at all.  Record temperatures and a solid two weeks of a heat wave, caused me to worry again about our little tree.  But just like in Life Anew, that determined tree grew around the decay and shot higher, just in time for July.  Yesterday, after the welcomed rain, I went out onto the deck.  Looking over at Austin's tree, a lump formed in my throat.  Tears, so easily spilled (because yesterday would've been his 18th birthday), found their way falling across my cheeks again. 

Tiny red buds were beginning to form, as if to say,
"Hello, Mom.  I am here.  Love you, Austin."

**Go back and compare the tiny sprout in Life Anew to the one above,
just one year later.  Wow.

- - - - -
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always irregularly.
Spaces fill with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be.
Be and be better.
For they existed.”

― Maya Angelou (When Great Trees Fall)


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