Grandmothers Tree

By , waterloo, IA

I was four years old when my grandmother passed away. She left me a note and a seed. I got to plant the seed the day of her funeral, along with her ashes. Saddened by the loss of my grandmother, it made me happier to plant a tree for her. We planted it in the backyard of her home. The house sat on an acreage with many other trees. I planted her tree far enough away from the house that it would have room to grow but close enough where I could watch it grow from the back porch window. The wind blowing, we sat next to the fresh dirt. Growing up, the tree began to sprout and grow. I felt the presence of my grandmother every time I came to visit it.

I came again on my 18th birthday. That day I could open a note written by my grandmother. The tree was small, with oversized leaves, it sat in the sun. The leaves were swaying in the wind. While the trunk wasn’t too large yet it swayed as well. I could feel my grandmother was with me again on that day. I decided it was the perfect time to open the note Inside it told me of how much she loves me and that she is proud of the things that I have done with my life. Even though she isn’t here to see what I am doing she knows. I sat with the tree for a few hours. I kept reading the note over and over again. I listened to the wind blow and the birds sing. I imagined the life I would have, and how the tree will someday become large and beautiful.


When I was done with high school I decided I wanted to become a teacher, so I moved away to college. I made sure to come back during every break that I could. I always sat with the tree for as long as possible. I would tell it about my life and how things are going because I can feel my grandmother there with me during my visits. I cared for her tree by watering it and trimming the leaves, or branches. During winter break I came home, and saw grandmothers tree again. It was a beautiful day, it’s small branches blowing in the cold wind. There were still squirrels running around. I saw their paw prints in the fresh white snow.


Near the end of college the tree was taller than me, its branches spread over my head, swaying in the breeze. There was a family of birds living in the top of the tree, and I would watch squirrels chase each other up and down the branches.


I decided to move into my grandmother's house after college, and became a teacher. I would go to the tree and tend to it while telling my Grandmother about my students and how my life was going.


Soon enough I got engaged. We decided to get married in the backyard of my grandmother's house. I was married under my grandmothers tree, I knew she was there with me. Soon after getting married I became pregnant with my first baby. The first person I told was my grandmother. I sat under her tree and told her how excited I was. I knew she was too because the birds were singing louder than ever and the squirrels just sat in the branches listening to what I had to say.


I continued to talk to my grandmother at my tree throughout my pregnancy, and even after took my baby there each chance I had.


My baby is four years old now, just the age I was when I lost my grandmother, I tell her every chance I get how special my grandmother is to me. I watch her go outside and speak to my grandmother just as I did when I was her age.


My daughter is 18 now, and we just had a funeral for my mother, I took her ashes and planted a tree with them, right next to my grandmothers tree. My grandmothers tree is huge now. The leaves are beautiful colors of orange red and brown. The trunk of her tree is too big for me to hug all the way around. The birds and squirrels still live in the trees. My daughter and I planted the seed this afternoon. We sat outside speaking to my mother and grandmother. It was so peaceful to know my mom and grandma were together again. 






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