The Lucy Tree

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 12:32 PM

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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42 Loving Lines

  1. I was there in that park the day Lucy was blessed. I have thought about that day a lot lately for some reason and the memory that keeps coming to me is being in the park waiting for Lucy to arrive. What a way to make it another sacred place for you to remember her, and wait for her.

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  2. What a beautiful post Molly. So full of hope and light and love. The poem you wrote was so touching and appropriate, and could only be written with a mother's tender perspective. We have a tree in our yard with pink blossoms that come forth in the spring...I won't look at it again without remembering your sweet Lucy. Thank you.

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  3. Dear Molly -
    I almost feel crazy leaving a comment on your blog. I am a complete stranger, who just happened to stumble on your blog a month or so ago. I have to admit, something keeps drawing me to check in daily...as weird as that seems, as I don't know you at all. However, I have been deeply touched by your experience through your words and testimony, and I just had to let you know how grateful I am for your willingness to share this journey will all of us. Having never lost a child of my own, I can't completely relate, but I did lose my Mom at the tender age of 7, and have gone through all of the emotions and feelings that take place after losing a loved one. I wish I could pass on the comfort that it gets easier with time... it's been almost 24 years for me, and while there are still good days and bad, there is something to be said about having a loved one on the other side of the veil. I have had sacred experiences with my mom that I wouldn't change for anything. What a blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives and the knowledge of Eternal Families. Thank you again for sharing your sweet Lucy with us. I have a renewed commitment of holding my children a little tighter each day because of you and for that, I am extremely grateful. Please know that even a complete stranger feels for you at this time, and that you're not alone. I just know the Lord's greatest blessings will be yours in the Eternities to come. You're a perfect example of a Christ-like life. Thank you! The tree was a beautiful idea!

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  4. Beautiful poem.

    Beautiful tree.

    Beautiful eternal family.

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  5. Molly, I placed a ribbon on the tree in spirit, as I'm sure many others also did that day. What a beautiful tree and a beautiful dedication to Lucy. The words you wrote in your tribute to Lucy were so tender and loving. May you continue to feel God's hand in your life. You are very special to so many.

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  6. Molly- you are so talented. I loved the poem that your wrote. It is so perfect, and beautiful. Just like your little Lucy. I have to admit, I thought of you so often this weekend, as I watched general conference. I loved Elder Holland's talk on angels, and thought of your little angel, Lucy. There were so many uplifting, and comforting talks, that I hope it brought you some measure of peace, as well. I am so glad that you got to be with the Waites and the Richs this weekend. I am sure that it brings comfort to be around others "who know." My heart has truly mourned with you, and these other families as well. Years ago, after my grandma died I was given a bush that was to remind me of her. I moved away shortly after we planted it. However, even now, over 11 years later, whenever I see a bush of that sort, I fondly think of my grandma, and her life. I think planting a beautiful tree like that is a wonderful tribute to Lucy. Obviously, your thoughts are always with her, but now the world can see and feel the beauty of her tree. Thank you again for so openly sharing your thoughts, and your daughter with me.

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  7. Molly,
    Planting a tree at that park is such a wonderful tribute to Lucy. There couldn't be a more perfect poem than one written by her loving mother. It was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I have literally dug a hundred holes and planted a hundred trees as big as this one. Two stand out. The tree I planted with my father just before his illness and subsequent death, and this tree. Thank you for letting me take part. I will remember Lucy each day I pass by the tree for the next 50 years. Its reflection of each season will remind me of the seasons of life. I do miss Lucy.

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  9. You have once again filled my vessel as I have come to your well. Thank you.

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  10. Wow Molly. That was an absolutely beautiful and perfect poem for little Lucy. You don't know me.. I posted a comment once before but I couldn't help but do so again. My heart goes out to you and your family. Isn't the gospel amazing? That we will be together forever? I couldn't imagine but having that knowledge-- that hope that we will see our loved ones again. I know Lucy is with you.. you have such a sweet little angel to watch over you.

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  11. Thank you Molly! I had a hard day, I'm sick with a sore throat, tired and have no energy to be a mother to four busy, high energy little girls. I loved your poem. So in tune are you. Beautiful beautiful poem. Thank you again for helping me take a deep breath and focus on what is really important. I needed this. Adriane

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  12. I was so happy to read this post. Your poem was beautiful. What park is the tree in?

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  13. I thought of your family so often this weekend while listening to conference and hearing so much about hope, faith, and enduring.
    I felt like they were speaking just to me and to you and they KNEW what our hearts needed. Such a testimony of inspired apostles.

    Your poem is beautiful and perfect, just like Lucy.

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  14. A week ago a friend from our old ward in Utah came to visit us and while we were talking I told her about you and about Lucy's story. She then told me about the son of someone from our old ward (Coby Rich) who had just lost their little boy. It's amazing how things work out that seem like coincidences, but they really aren't. It's comforting to know that the Lord puts people in our paths to strengthen us. I'm sure you will all be a huge strength to each other. You really amaze me.

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  15. really that is the sweetest poem I have ever read! and all those pink ribbons on the tree I LOVE!

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  16. Oh my! So beautiful! You bring me tears every time you share your little Lucy with us. Thank you so much! There is nothing as wonderful as feeling the spirit and having a reminder of the angels that minister to us, watch over and protect us.

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  17. I love your poem and your tree! I'm Amy's friend and former neighbor, and I know how much she loves and admires you! I often pray for you and I hope you and Vic will continue to progress through this hard grieving process. I'm glad to read your spirits are up after last week. Conference will do that for you! Much love.

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  18. Wow, what a small world! I knew Jonathan Waite since I was 10 years old. Of course I've know you and Vic since our LA days. And Coby Rich is Jennilles cousin! That is so great you all got together but we thought it was so interesting you all found each other. I'm interested to hear how that came about. What a strong support group you have for each other.

    Erik

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  19. Thanks for sharing your sweet poem and pictures of that special day. Trevor & I think it is such a great gift (kudos to the Peter Pan crew for organizing it!) and a sweet way for so many to feel Lucy's presence and LIFE.

    I also thought of you many times during General Conference--the talks seemed so geared to us for our trials and challenges, it was so uplifting!

    We love you & think of you daily.
    **hugs from Kentucky**

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  20. I dont know you personally, but feel as if I know you through this crazy world of blogs. You have a beautiful story and should be a very proud mom which I know you are because your sweet Lucy's story has touched so many. And I look at you in aww of how strong and brilliant you are. Thank you for sharing your story and I have been truely touched and inspired by it all. It makes me want to hold and cherish my little one that much more. Thank you, thank you for everything.
    Love Brielle Broadhead
    St. George Utah

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  21. I thought of you so much during Conference this past weekend. I really felt like overcoming despair and trials was one of the prevailing themes, and I thought, oh, what wonderful words for Molly and Vic to hear. And I thank you for sharing your bad days, too, because even though my trials pale in comparison with yours, it actually makes me feel better to know that you can have such good feelings, and then such darkness. It helps me to know that it's okay to have blue days.

    It turns out I'm expecting, too, something we've hoped and prayed for for a while. I bet we're not too far apart - hooray for new beginnings!

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  22. Her tree is absolutely beautiful...and so is that poem. I have found relief in poetry. I write my feelings out, cry as I'm doing it, and it's a release for me. I've written a few poems that I have posted on my blog about Trinity. You are keeping Lucy very much alive in everyone around you, just as we are doing with Trinity. I will not allow Trinity to be forgotten. Love and hugs to you my "Angel Mommy" friend... -Melinda Adams

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  23. The poem you wrote is perfect Molly. I'm glad you were able to connect with those other two couples. Wish we could have been by your side as you planted the Lucy tree.

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  24. We planted a flowering plum for my Niece. It has purple leaves in the summer and pink buds in the spring. I love the idea of trees.

    For our Lucey we planted a flower garden, it's a little triangle in the back yard with an angel statue in the center, pink rose bushes on either side, a pink Lilac behind and other pink flowers surrounding.

    It's comforting to me to look out my window and see her garden. Maybe a little peek into what heaven is like.

    {{{Hugs}}}

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  25. I hesitate to post on here because I am a complete stranger to you, but I just wanted you to know how beatiful and touching and precious your Lucy poem is. I don't think you could have found a more poignant poem in any other book. God bless you and your family as you press forward and may Heavenly Father's love continue to bring peace and comfort into your lives.

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  26. What a beautiful tribute. I got chills reading it. And your poem was perfect! We continue to pray for you.

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  27. So touching Molly. I love the Lucy Tree. I hope to one day see it for myself. You and Vic are so amazing. So wonderful. Please know that I love you and continue to think of and pray for you.

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  28. Touching poem! I can't wait to visit Park City and see Lucy's tree. You are amazing!

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  29. Wow! Your poem is perfectly beautiful! What a tender tribute.

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  30. Your poem was beautiful!I love to read your posts, you have such a wonderful way with words. Your strength amazes me.

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  31. I hope you know how inspiring, strong and incredible you are. My friends and family have been passing around your blog you have spoke to so many people. I'm sorry for what you've been through. You have more than honored Lucy though because of you your story and Lucy's story has changed peoples lives. Thank you!

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  32. What a wonderful idea... I hope that you guys are doing well. xoxo

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  33. Molly, what a beautiful tree. I love that idea, and that you wrote a beautiful poem and ...all of it. I hope you're healing. I think of you often. Pray for you. Fun to see pictures of your family. It's been so long since I've seen you. Everyone looks so great!

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  34. So many memories in that park...so many things make me think of Lucy and that park is one of them. What a perfect memorial for her. I am so glad that you had those moments with your friends too. There is peace in others stories, I think. Love you thiiiiiis much!

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  35. I stand in complete awe of you both, and continue to find strength in your posts each time I read them. Thank you for continuing to press forward with such faith, and for being fantastic examples to me. I miss seeing you on Sundays in the Kimball ward and continue to pray for you daily.

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  36. Molly-

    I love reading your blog. You are so real and share your deepest feelings. I can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I can only view the loss through my own grief at the loss of my brother and nephew. It takes so long to heal and the feelings have to be worked through each time they come. I am so impressed with your faith and your inconquerable spirit. You are amazing! I clicked on to the link you had for Tiffany and realized she was my roommate in Provo. My heart breaks for them and for you. May God continue to bless you and may you continue to bless the lives of others through Lucy's remarkable life......with love and admiration, Kathryn

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  37. What a beautiful post. Thank you :)

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  38. I dont know you and you obviously dont know me, but I came across your blog and I just wanted you to know that I was truly touched by Lucy's story. She is absolutely beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. I think little Lucy can be an example for us all. It is truly amazing that Lucy's last gift to this world was the gift of life through organ donation. God bless you and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  39. What a beautiful poem. I'm sure Lucy loves it and loves her special tree. :)

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  40. I see the smiles you all are wearing on your faces. . . but see the pain in your eyes. It is all too familiar. The pain is core deep. I am so so so sorry for your loss. Sometimes that is the only thing I can say. It's just so real, so deep, so awful. Just take care of yourself. . . I love this tree you did for Lucy. It's a wonderful idea. I have had thoughts to do a tree for James. I am not sure where or when, but someday. Much love to you and Vic. Hang in there.

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  41. My wife and I have been down this road twice, once with our seventeen-year-old son who was relieved of the burden of cerebral palsy after a life of love and generosity and patience, and once with a baby we only held for six hours. My older brother and his wife lost a beautiful 18-year-old daughter to complications from anesthesia; dear friends lost their firstborn daughter when she was at college. We find we all tell the same story: The grief never ends. You miss the missing child all your life, and even after you learn to set aside the raw emotion so you can get on with life (especially meeting the needs of the children still with you), it can flood back with all its force at moments when it is least expected.

    Do you measure your loss by the years of life you don't get to be part of? Or do you measure your joy by how much of this beloved child you got to have? We never got to see our seventeen-year-old son take a step, or run, or speak in a torrent of words; but we had him for seventeen years. Our little girl we barely had at all; are we blessed not to know what we missed by never getting to know her? or should we be disappointed? The answer is: you feel what you feel.

    Here is the poem I wrote for our little girl, the first Christmas when we would have had her, but didn't:

    A Poem for Erin’s First Christmas

    This is the season of the invisible.
    By the gravesides now poinsettias bloom,
    Garlands drape along each fence,
    Starlight shines from every wire,
    And at every manger, shepherds kneel.

    Of public symbols I am quite insensible —
    These are the icons that to me are real:
    The grieving parents of the innocents,
    The babies that the Savior did not heal,
    And Tiny Tim’s crutch
    Leaning useless by the slackening fire.

    Delicate fingers that I cannot touch
    Hold my hand and guide me through the gloom.
    I bow my head for flesh made word
    And sing the carol of the voice unheard.

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  42. Molly,
    My cousin, Becky Black (Andy's wife) brought my attention to your blog. I graduated from Madison one year after you. I'm grateful to have read your beautiful tribute to your sweet Angel baby --I have two angel babies of my own. Kamryn was stillborn six years ago and Zoe passed away from respiratory failure shortly after her birth 6 months ago. I can't claim to understand your pain or strength because you undoutedly have felt and displayed more of each than I, but you have touched that part of my heart that is always empty and I thank you for that. I wish God's choicest blessings for you and Vic.
    Julie Christensen Pack
    www.brettpackfamily.blogspot.com

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