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A Symbol Of Love & Loss

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Symbol Of Love & Loss

In November 2007, a month after my parents died, my husband, sister and I traveled to Tunisia to visit the school, ACST (American Cooperative School of Tunis), where they worked. We wanted to spend time where they last had, visit with their colleagues and gain some peace and understanding. It was also important to me to be the ones that cleared out their home.

It was a difficult trip to say the least, but necessary for our grieving process. We were met with much understanding and support and much of the time we were not only being consoled but were consoling.

In a very touching ceremony, the school planted two olive trees* in a common area on campus and dedicated one to each of my parents while we were in town.That year for Christmas my husband had an olive tree planted for me in our side yard.

This was taken the day the tree was planted:

It was almost an exact replica to the ones planted for my parents continents away. right down to the white stones. Luckily, however, it is a non olive producing tree, for that would just be a mess!

In three years it has almost doubled in size.

This is me pregnant with Lucas at 30 weeks:

This was taken the day we moved:

I love this tree and will always appreciate the kind gesture that my husband made in finding and having it planted at our home. It will forever remind me of our trip to Tunis, the two trees that grow and bloom there in memory of my parents and of course, my parents themselves.

Todd is working with our old gardener and the new residents to either move the tree to a farm until we buy our next house and can plant it there, or keep it with the old house until we are ready to transplant it.

*The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean and a cultural symbol of Tunisia.

Silvery green leaves are oblong in shape and in spring small white flowers bloom. With age, the trunk is typically gnarled and twisted.

Tunisia produces 500,000 tons of olives each year. Many of Tunisia's olive trees are believed to be over 2,000 years old.

The olive tree is one of the plants most often mentioned in literature. In Homer's "Odyssey", Odysseus crawls beneath two olive tree branches that grow from a single stock. The Roman poet, Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "As for me, olives, endives, and smooth mallows provide sustenance."

Olive trees are symbols of abundance, glory and peace.

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Blogger Jules said...

Very special Tonya!

December 23, 2010 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

Beautiful. And Todd gets husband of the year for working on a plan sothe tree can move with you.

December 23, 2010 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

This is such a beautiful story. And I agree that your husband does deserve father of the year for doing all of this for you. He is so very thoughtful!

December 23, 2010 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

I really loved that gesture of Todd's too. I like the idea that it will travel with you all when you move into you permanent house later. I honestly can't help but think of mom and dad whenever I see or hear about an olive tree.

December 23, 2010 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Daria said...

That is really sweet gesture. I love having living things - especially trees - to pay tribute to people we've lost. It is a hopeful and uplifting way to remember them.

The new owners sound amazing! I'm impressed they are so understanding about the significance of that tree to you.

Daria @ Mom in Management

December 23, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Beautiful. I am so glad that tree will find you again.

December 23, 2010 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

What a special story about a very special tree. I know it was hard for you to leave your home for many reasons, but I'm sure the tree was one of the biggest ones.

I love that you will get it back one day!

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tonya!

December 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I love that this special tree will follow you when you find your new home. I know how important this tree is to you. Todd is such a wonderful husband!

December 25, 2010 at 1:08 AM  

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