time I visit the city in Massachusetts where I was born and
raised, it is my custom to take the mile or so walk from
grandmotherís house to visit the grave of my mother. This time
was so much more dismal than the norm, afflicted as I was with the
hollow pain of being orphaned in my early 30's, still reeling from
the death of my father just weeks earlier.
the large cemetery, my heart was stung by the vast number of
graves it contained. How each of its 51,000 headstones represented
immeasurable pain for countless people whose lives were altered by
the crushing blow of the death of a loved one. As I walked up and
down the hilly roadway noticing all the bare trees in the
cemetery, it reminded me of myself -- how I felt so empty, frozen,
and stripped of happiness now that dad was gone too.
journey brought me to a magnificent tree which stood out from the
others. It, too, was bare, but this one was still somehow
beautiful. Its trunk was massive, its branches mighty and
numerous, stretching out to almost touch the sky. It then occurred
to me that I could be like that tree. As my dear cousin Maryanne reminded
me, my roots are strong -- so I now realize that maybe I can
survive this horrible ordeal after all. Maybe I can grow
even stronger and carry my head high and still somehow shine even
though my leaves are gone ... and just wait for Spring to come.
This is what the tree looks like when Spring comes. My cousin
was right ... I survived, my leaves grew back, and I continue to
grow. Just like the tree.