Wyatt's Willow, which is just shy of ten years old, as is my boy, has been reduced to a small stump in our backyard. The last few years have been difficult for the willow. It suffered sun damage, bug infestation as a result of the damage which could not heal and a final insult - woodpeckers. My husband wanted to just cut it down but I insisted that an arborist examine the tree and make an education determination as to the poor willow's fate. My husband was right, our willow was too damaged to stand any longer. We risked having it fall towards our house in a wind storm and that was just unacceptable. So now it is gone. We are only waiting to have the stump grinded out and then it will only exist in my memory and photographs. Just like Wyatt. Ugh.
Of course this would happen just weeks before Wyatt's 10th birthday. Of course my hormones are all wonky from being in the weaning process for our littlest girl. Of course Eli's little pee gee hydrangea tree had died last spring (as an aside, his new hydrangea tree, quick fire I believe, is showing many signs of life thankfully). I'm left throwing my hands in the air and my fate to the wind. These trees and their gravestones are what I have left to care for. The gravestones are inanimate objects but the trees, the trees, they change and grow and show awesome beauty and strength throughout the year. They are what I really treasure.
To watch Wyatt's tree come down after ten years has been very sad and frankly, something I have pushed to a far away place in my mind. The decision of what to do next has also been very difficult and sad. Wyatt's weeping willow was just too perfect. A big beautiful weeping tree to represent our tears shed for Wyatt. Due to the tree's health issues we don't want to plant another weeping willow and then take a chance that another ten or so years down the road we will have to say goodbye to that one too. So we've had to choose another type of tree and this decision has been far less emotional and much more rational. There are hardiness, pest and disease considerations which take away a lot of the "specialness" to me. But, just like saying goodbye to Wyatt on a rainy morning almost ten years ago, we have no other choice.