“We’re going to go get the girl trees”, I said to my daughter today as my husband and I left to go get lunch and buy a couple more trees to plant along the back side of our property.
Sometimes God orchestrates things, probably more often than I realize, just to plant a kiss of love on my forehead and comfort me in a way only He knows how to, because He knows me better than anyone else.
I’ve been wanting some trees that exhibit fall colors for quite some time now, but we’ve been busy remodeling and building on our property, and we have an abundance of trees already, so hubby wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to accommodate my wishes for more. But this week, it seemed like the right time.
I didn’t have anything but trees in mind last week when I stopped at Home Depot to see if they had any maples that turn red in the fall. They had 3 Red Sunset Maples, and that seemed like just the thing for the spot I had in mind. So I called the hubster and told him about them. He agreed that it seemed like a good year to plant some fall color trees and said we could get them sometime soon.
We did that yesterday, on the 3rd anniversary of the last day we saw our middle son. It was a happy thing to do on a difficult day. We brought them home yesterday and set them on the opposite side of the driveway at the back of our house, waiting to be planted sometime in the near future, but no specific plans were made yet.
A couple of weeks before we bought these 3 maple trees, we had discussed how much we liked a grove of maple and pine trees our neighbors across the street from us planted a few years back when we lived out in the country on 20 acres. The color combination was gorgeous in the fall.
As I was sitting at my computer, playing mindless and mind-numbing games last night, I remembered Dan (hubby) saying that he liked that combination of trees, and thought maybe we could get a couple of evergreens to go in between the maples. So I went to the living room, where he was watching Thursday night football, and told him about my idea.
Wow! Just like God does sometimes, I had a bolt of lightning shoot through me, and I knew God had this planned all along. It just takes me a little while to tune in sometimes.
Our children are our greatest blessings. We had five children because we wanted, very much, to have five children. That was what I wanted to do with my life – be a mother. And we both wanted a large family from day one. I’ve said it many times, and I feel it even more keenly since my middle son passed away, my only regret is that I didn’t have more children; not that I had five children.
I’ve come across many different suggestions for ways to honor a child who has unexpectedly gone ahead to heaven, and none have appealed to me. None except planting a tree. But that wasn’t in my mind when I asked Dan about planting maples this year.
Last night, though, I realized that it was in God’s mind, and He has gently nudged us to do something that makes us feel happy and honors our most cherished blessings – our children. Especially the one who ran ahead to heaven.
We have three boys and two girls. I’ve always called my girls my “book-ends” as they are my oldest and youngest; our three boys are in the middle.
We got three tall, colorful, stately Red Sunset maple trees, that will be exquisitely beautiful in the fall. And two smaller, slow-growing, prickly Austrian pines that will be stunningly beautiful when they mature. They are as different as trees can be, but they look amazing together.
Trees. What a wonderful gift from God on this, the third anniversary of our son’s passing. I’m so thankful for His love, mercy and compassion today, and everyday.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.”