Memories - My Parents...Memories...and the Big Tree


You know another experience that I have gone through, yet hope ones close to me never will have to, is when the roles reverse. The child becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the child. Especially when they have been close for ever, and you have to watch them waste away. The source of so much wisdom, and band aids throughout your life, suddenly becomes the mindless child. Where does it go??? But to be cast into the universe of our minds, and used to become the one who has faded, and as it is said, to pass the torch.


I can look out my window, around my temporary home here on earth, I see the trees I helped my Dad plant as seedlings, and watched them grow till I could climb them. Seemed like an eternity for a 3 year old, but in reality, was only a few years. As I aged, and they grew, I sought refuge in the branches. Making me in my child's mind, closer to God. As I would climb higher, I would see farther, and try to imagine, what it looked like to the angels in heaven. The branches grew stronger, and the trees taller. My girls came along, Tina was the tree climber. It would scare me to see her way up in the top, of the same branches that felt my weight, so many years before. The tiny seedling, I had held in my hand. My heart would pound with fear and pride at the same time, as the look of longing, for the unknown would be on her face, as she at 4, sat and surveyed her kingdom, from the same perch, in the swaying branches, as I had. The whispering pines, singing to the wind.


The wonder, and amazement, was etched on his face, the first time  I saw Alex standing under the tree and looking up, at the same branch, that by now was so far above his reach, as so many years had passed. But the look of longing was still there in his eyes, as passed from his Mother. His step grandfather, at 6'5", was not near as tall as his Great grandfather. And as I watched out the window, he lifted him gently into the sky, and to the branch, that to Alex was a mile high. And again there, the torch was passed to him. When he was about 10, the old tree started to wither. A year of drought, was claiming its life. Too far from the house to water, as it had gained its nourishment from the pond, which had long since dried up. I watched in life, as that tiny seedling was felled, with a giant roar, as the death of this giant tree, was long and sad.


I saw Alex one day dragging long branches, that once held his weight, and the weight of his Mother and I. He was building a fort, with a little saw, a hammer and nails. The scars of the nails, I had hammered into it, for my tree house, almost 50 years before, still visible, where this young, almost teenager, cut, shaped and planted his memories for the future.


The tiny seedling, has turned to dust. In the place it once stood, not a trace remains. Who will ever know what this small area once held??? The awe and wonder, of 4 generations. From a tiny seed, as we have grown, to a majestic pine, that too, lived out its life, helping others to learn. But who will know??? Unless its memory is passed on, what love, that small space held. And the spirits that still dwell there.


Now I look out the window of his house, and see him tending the tiny plants, he has grown from seeds, to grow vegetable plants, so his Mother can, can them, and they will be enjoyed over time, giving nourishment for the body, as was the tree, that nourished our souls.


2004 Judy Tomaini Rock, All Rights Reserved

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