Many things of significance took place this weekend for me. The first being a gathering of "Angel" families. Three couples, including ourselves, who have recently lost children. One couple (Tiffany and Coby Rich) as recently as two weeks ago. Their son Jackson drowned in their backyard in a small landscape pond. Oh, how my heart aches for them. It is still so new and fresh for them. You can't help but want to literally take them into your arms, stroke their hair, and just tell them to breathe in and out. Stephanie and Jonathan Waite also lost their daughter in a similar tragedy in their backyard hot tub. There we were--our poor waiter. Bus boys and waiters periodically approached our table with the standard greeting, "Hi there. How's everyone doing tonight?" We just politely smiled and uttered a pleasantry. We were doing...well, happy to be together. But heavy in our hearts. It felt like a sacred circle. It wasn't all tears and sadness, there was some genuine laughter and stimulating conversation. But no matter what was said, what we were really saying was, "I love you" and "I understand." Thank you for a meaningful and fulfilling evening.
Next was a tree planting ceremony in the park near our home. This is the park where we gathered after Lucy's baby blessing to celebrate the life of our new daughter. It is the park where I would take her during nice weather to slide and walk and jump and watch dogs play. It was the perfect place. This was only possible because of the generosity of the cast of Peter Pan. Vic conducted and did a wonderful job welcoming everyone in the rain and speaking briefly about the significance of Peter Pan in Lucy's life. A friend had suggested it might be appropriate to read a poem about a tree at the ceremony. I thought it was a wonderful idea and spent quite a while researching poems online. Nothing seemed quite right. It needed to be perfect. Finally I had the thought, "Why can't I write a poem?" And out it poured. I read it aloud through my tears...
THE LUCY TREE
Though not here but hidden, beneath earth's changing ground
Lies our little Lucy's tabernacle, quiet, without a sound
Will we ever see her? Will her voice be heard?
How can she be silent? Our lovely Tinkerbell bird
If you listen you can hear it, though soft to the human ear
A spirit draped with bouncing curls, singing for all to hear
It takes a pure and pondering moment for one to hear her say
"I am HERE, not hidden, beneath earth's molding clay."
I'm in your smile, I'm in your hands, and in this very tree
You must love and give and laugh and look to my branches---see
I'll show you how to share your love with others on their way
Just as I'll give to children here who come to laugh and play
In shade and comfort mothers will rest beneath my outstretched boughs
Reminding them to treasure, as their children are young for but hours
Love them, relish, kiss and delight
They teach more than just patience. Soon they'll be gone-
Bask in their light
I may be small and passersby will not hear or notice much
And in the winter some may think I'm silent, dead to the human touch
This is not so my friends, in Springtime you will see
A bright pink blossom bursting forth, reminding you of me
And if you stop and listen, you will hear me say
I live on just like this tree, for forever and a day
I am not silent, I am not hidden, beneath earth's rocky ground
I'm alive, I'm learning, I'm giving, I'm one eternal round
And so are each of you my friends, just like this little tree
A changing, growing, living thing, from now through eternity
So come here often, sit and ponder, think of what you've learned
From a bouncing little angel girl, what can you give in return?
Give life! Give love! Give hope and comfort when all hope seems lost
The reward is great, the fruit is sweeter, do it at any cost
And as you give, this tree will grow, as a symbol of God's love
Until that sweet reunion with Lucy up above
Vic, John Flint, and I dug the hole by hand, as suggested by the amazing Kamas nursery landscaper Josh. He mentioned to me how the actual physical work of digging the hole would make the whole experience more meaningful. He was right.
I chose this tree for its bright pink blossom that emerges in Spring. There are three of these in our backyard. When we arrived home from that agonizing week in the hospital, the cheery blossoms gave us hope, and of course, reminded us of our Lucy. Her color is bright pink. Not until driving home from the nursery did it dawn on me, "This is a CRAB APPLE tree. APPLE. I don't know if we can do that." But I realized that though ironic, it is reverently appropriate.
Lucy's Poppa Bice and Nanna placing dirt around the Lucy Tree. With Aunt Peggy Jackson and daddy in the background.
Nancy Bice, Taylor Bice, Molly Bice Jackson, and Russell Bice. I missed my sister Amy, and brother Nathan. Wish they could have been there.
This is Lucy's best friend Nai'a Cabrera. They were two very feisty peas in a pod. Nai'a is still very close with Lucy and tells us often that Lucy has visited her. Vic asked her, while posing for this picture, if she thought Lucy is happy with this tree. Without hesitation, she enthusiastically and directly answered, "YES."
I can't thank the cast of Peter Pan enough for donating such a meaningful gift. I can't wait to watch it grow and change through the seasons of our lives. Each ribbon that was placed on the tree was done so with a silent prayer, or message to Lucy. If I only knew what each of those ribbons symbolize from the hearts of my family and friends...I think they might be some of the most beautiful and touching words for my ears to hear. Grateful, grateful, grateful. I can't stop thinking of that word.
And lastly, General Conference. Every six months, the leaders of my church, modern day prophets and apostles, speak to us and teach us and remind us of some of the most fundamental principles and truths about God, His love for us, how to find happiness, families, trials, and pressing forward with hope. I soaked up every word. If you would like to learn more about what I believe, or be inspired, find answers to life's difficult questions--I lovingly share this website with you and can promise you will be enlightened, and even find answers you didn't even know you were searching for.
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