Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Giving Tree
When I was young, I remember reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I remembered the story as a poignant story about being willing to give whatever you have to benefit those whom you love. Rereading the story as an adult, I am not so sure I would interpret it the same way; however, I reconnected with the story when a dear friend had a tree planted in honor of my mother.

When my mother passed away, my friend asked if she could have a tree planted in a local park in honor of my mother. It took me a few months to be able to go forward with it emotionally, but in fall 2008, a beautiful tree was planted in a very sweet neighborhood park. When my mom first moved to California she immediately wrote to her family telling them of the purple trees in California. It seemed only appropriate to request a Jacaranda tree with its lovely purple blossoms. My sisters and I have enjoyed picnics by the tree and we have visited the tree on occasions even sneaking my doggies in for a visit at a park that doesn't allow dogs (what park does not allow dogs?). Since the park is so close to my office, I frequently go there on my lunch hour and check on the tree. I feel close to mom there. It feels good to be there.

I have watched the tree grow over the last year or so. It is a beautiful little tree with five strong branches, one for each daughter. It will grow to provide shade for the children who play in the park, it will provide a beautiful burst of purple color in the late spring and summer when it blooms, and it will watch over the weddings and birthday parties and other special events that frequently happen in the park. It is in fact a giving tree, much like my mom who gave everything she had for those she loved.

On November 30, her birthday, I went by for a visit. Much to my surprise there was a beautiful blossom at the very top. Strange because Jacarandas bloom around June. You can't really see it too well on the photo from my phone's camera (try clicking it to see it larger), but it was such a special and sweet gift to see such life and color crowning the tree on her birthday.

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Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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