We bought this weeping willow tree in 1998.
I'm the one that bought it, although most of our purchases do involve a 'we'.
It was intended to be a birthday present for my husband's
thirty-fifth birthday. A week before the big day,
I bought and stashed it behind the shed, knowing I had found the
perfect gift - a tree he had always admired and wanted.
But on his birthday, our third child was lost to miscarriage.
The tree was forgotten, left without a second thought in its hiding place.
I confess that I mourned the loss deeply. I felt it was the death of one of our children,
and not simply a miss, a mistake, or a random biological course correction.
Even though I never inhaled the scent of that child or smoothed a perfect cheek,
she was born in my heart as soon as the murky blue lines indicated positive.
From that very moment, my unborn child smiled and cooed in my imagination,
and I already knew how her tiny form would fit in the crook of my arm.
The physical body of a child may not be fully formed at twelve weeks gestation,
but the hopes and dreams of its mother are already spun deep and wide.
By Father's Day, three weeks after his birthday, I was still blurry with aching.
Somehow, I remembered the tree and pulled it out of its hiding spot to
serve as the gift of the day.
Planting that tree together as a deliberate memorial
was the single most healing thing we did. Because of that tree,
my child will not be forgotten, and I am continually reminded to HOPE.
It's a step I would encourage any mother experiencing loss to take.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
* something special here