This is a true story...when it happened I was floored. See what YOU think.
|I lived in the same house from the day I was born until I got married. It was a great house, and when my parents decided to sell it, my husband and I bought it.
The day my little brother, Jeff, was born, my father planted a sycamore tree in the backyard. It grew into a huge tree that covered not only our yard, but all the neighbors’ yards with giant leaves in the fall. When I became the owner, the mess it made every year humiliated me no end. I would have volunteered to clean up everyone’s yards, but the tree was so prolific that it dropped leaves throughout the season, and it would have been a full-time job.
At times I thought of cutting it down, but the fact that it had been planted in honor of my brother’s birth gave me an oddly superstitious feeling about it. I love my brother so much, I just felt that I couldn’t do anything to that tree.
Eventually, the age and size of the house made it too expensive to maintain and we decided we would have to sell it. It made me sad to leave my childhood home and to know that I wouldn’t be coming back. I left the height markings on the utility room wall, the old heavy-duty crank-style pencil sharpener bolted inside a closet, the windows where the neighborhood boys would knock late at night and stand for hours talking and trying to convince us to come out.
A few years ago, my brother died suddenly—a tragic and senseless death. He was a carpenter, and he actually died from a wood splinter in his hand. I spoke with him on Saturday as he washed dishes, and Monday night he was in the emergency room with blood poisoning. He was put into a drug-induced coma that night, and life support was removed on Thursday.
My brother was very much loved and the funeral home was packed. So many people. Lots of folks from the neighborhood where we grew up. I saw our old next-door neighbors and went to speak to them. I apologized for how rowdy my brother and sisters and I were back in the day. I told them that I myself would hate to live next to a bunch of kids like us. I also told them that I was sorry about the way that old sycamore tree dropped leaves all over their yard and I never did anything about it.
They told me that the tree had been cut down the week before Jeff died.