Sunday, March 04, 2018

A Tale of Two Trees

Back in 2008, I bought a couple of tree saplings, one for Beth and one for me. She liked weeping willows, and I like pin oaks. I bought them for us as a couple, because we had been having some problems, and I wanted to affirm for her my love and my long term commitment.

I planted them where she wanted them, and it was a very fine thing to watch them grow together.

The weeping willow tree grew tall very fast, but it died a couple of years ago. After she died, in fact (though it seemed sick prior to that). But I left it there, hoping that each of the next two years, it would get some buds.

Just the other day, after the strong storms that came through, my youngest daughter looked out the window and said, “Dad, there’s a branch in the yard”.

In fact, it was the willow tree that had been knocked over in the storms. Beth’s tree.

I was reminded of a concept in Sheldon Vanauken’s “A Severe Mercy” – another story by a husband whose wife had died. There was a period of grieving, and then there was a period that he called “the second death”, when he was aware that no longer grieved.

March 9 would be the 31st anniversary of when Beth and I met. I have been dating for a while, off and on, and by and large I’m looking forward, not backward. I’m sad when I think about what has happened. I know that she is safely with the Lord.

But life goes on, with all of its pressures and promises.

The pin oak, my tree, is very strong and healthy. I’ve cut a few odd branches off of it, to help it fit in the yard a bit better. To make it easier to mow the lawn. But the tree seems to be growing nicely, and healthier than ever.


  1. This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. We will pray God provides again for you, a helper - suitable for you!

  2. May God continually endow to you His all sufficient grace.