When it’s time to move from my home, I think leaving my trees behind may be the hardest part. I don’t get too attached to things but they seem different. Many are living memorials to family, friends, and neighbors who in some way touched my life but who are no longer physically with me.
Although I consciously choose trees that remind me of the person or that I think they may have liked, they do seem to end up reflecting their personalities. My trees have names and I refer to them by name. “Look, Ray has finally taken hold. Frank survived his first winter. Dorothy was in perfect shape and beautiful but didn’t like her environment. Fred is out of control and needs trimmed again! Tom is blossoming.”
This is a picture of Frank, my Alaskan Weeping Cypress taken in the spring. It’s named for Frank, who by reputation was a brilliant surgeon. I didn’t get to meet Frank until his later years when dementia had already taken hold. He was the husband of a client and friend. I wished I had met him earlier, but twice a month I got to spend a little time with him. His intellect and experience impressed me and I could still hear the caring and compassion that motivated him. I wanted to hear more about his expertise and his working travels after retirement from the hospital. So many changes had taken place during his near ninety years. I wanted his opinion on my field and his and on some clear days I did hear them. It was sad to watch the progression of the disease and his frustration with his physical and mental state.
I planted Frank near the road to greet those who come in my drive. Like his namesake he’s been low maintenance, stately but approachable, impressive yet reserved.