The Great Oak (short version): May 20, 2014

A few weeks ago on Facebook, a friend asked a general question: “In the moment of the unknown, in the face of a challenge…How strong will you stand?”

Here was my response: “We are as strong as the Great Oak under which we spoke our vows. Our branches may sway in the wind, but our roots are deep and our trunks, thick. We are home to our children, regardless of where home is. Our strength comes from within and from without. You may see us leaning on one another and on others for support from time to time but rest assured our strength is rock steady. This family tree will one day be a forest…”

A new house stands on the foundation of our property that we sold just over a year ago, almost 2 years after “the event.” It’s not our house. It never will be.

When I pulled into our neighborhood last Friday to get a glimpse of the new construction, I was honestly hoping for closure. I was wishing that this empty, gut-wrenching feeling of loss would just dissipate. Like pulling a band-aid off and the wound was miraculously healed and I could look back and say something like, “remember the time..?” as though recalling a distant memory with an old friend.

Instead, I was met with an overwhelming feeling of longing to return, of knowing this was where we were supposed to be, of home.

Three years ago, today, I woke to a typical Friday morning, went about my normal routine, and prepared for my friends to join Lady J, Bud, and me at our weekly Mommy & Me play date. {K-Mad was 16 weeks along inside me.}

A few hours later, minutes before our guests arrived, the unthinkable happened…

Forest fires, although devastating, are also natures way of rebirth. New growth takes time as the forest returns to life and takes root.

There are still many days when the ashes smoke and the embers glow bright with the sorrow of loss. My strength as an oak wanes at times.  My branches may sag, my trunk feel hollow and my roots feel parched.

Last week I read an inspirational quote that read: “Courage is not having the strength to go on. It’s going on when you don’t have the strength.” (Mighty Girls)

These past 3 years have proven that seedlings are starting to sprout and roots to dig deep.  So today I stand tall, with the courage for growth. Thank you to all who stand with me, in my forest.

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