My mother came to mind over the weekend as I remembered a tree we planted the year she passed away.
We called it Grandma’s Tree.
It was a little tree, barely as tall as my six feet, and not that thick. Unfortunately, it only survived a couple of years before a windstorm sheared it in half.
The half-size shard of a tree remained in our yard for a season before we were able to totally remove it. The empty spot always seemed more empty because it was Grandma’s Tree.
Wanting another tree to fill the void, and eventually create shade to ease the heat of the afternoon sun, we planted another tree the following year.
This one was nearly four times my height before being transplanted, had a stronger root ball, and was much thicker, with a few years making up its tree rings, before being transplanted.
Grandma’s Tree now stands strong and tall, but it has struggled with generating leaves, particularly in the middle section.
While not knowing for sure how to nourish it so the leaves would grow more uniformly, I figured watering the tree was a good place to start.
And it seems to be making a difference.
While I’m sure there’s much more I could do, like fertilizer spikes, I’m grateful the deep watering seems to be helping as the middle of the tree is filling in with more leaves.
While working in my garden, and contemplating how best to nourish Grandma’s Tree, my thoughts continued their reflective journey into the world of nourishing words.
My mother had a way of always nourishing me.
Her smile was soft and generous. Her eyes bright and beautiful, even on her hardest days. Her words simple and kind. Always kind.
I wish you could have each known my mother. I think you would have liked her.
My mother’s name was Carolyn Christiansen Patterson. She’s in the middle of the back row in this picture taken at mine and Elisa’s wedding.
Mom was born in 1946 in Monroe, Utah, in central Utah. It was a small farming community, sandwiched by the even smaller communities of “Frog Town” on the north and “Monkey Town” on the south.
Mom was the oldest of seven siblings, five girls, two boys: Carolyn, Catheryn, Ray, Connie, Colleen, Cheryl, and Randy.
These kids grew up to stick together through all the ups and downs of life. Each of them, minus Ray who died when I was young, has been a nurturing influence in my life.
- Catheryn is good to remind me (always gently) of the importance of using the titles of respect aunts and uncles deserve.
- Connie has been a quiet voice of ever-present and eternal love.
- Colleen was always cool when I was a kid and is still cool today.
- Cheryl has a smile that shines brightest when life is challenging.
- Randy has taught me the importance of always looking after siblings even if you are the youngest.
From the collective bunch, I have learned life is pretty darn good even when it’s pretty darn bad. Like my mother, each of them chooses to find joy in their journey.
IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE
Mom had a philosophy she faithfully lived by. No matter how bad things were, Mom simply smiled, and said, “It could always be worse.”
We learned over the years, the more often she said it, the worse her pain was.
I’m grateful for a tree that reminded me to stop and be grateful.
Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to reflect on those you are most grateful for. Take your gratitude a step future and share your gratitude.
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