JenEm, Jan 21, 2021
Elmwood by Sara Gleason
Oak Tree by Sara Gleason
Map Your Life : Starter by Rebecca McMeen
Then and Now Collab. by Sara Gleason and Designed by Soco
Treasured Collab. by The Lilypad Designers
Arboretum {Home} by Sara Gleason

Journaling 535 words.
Journaling Reads:
The morning sun rises, and my uppermost leaves start to feel the warmth of the sun’s rays. I see a woman approaching. As she slowly and purposefully moves towards me, I recognize her facial features. She is familiar to me, and I know her well.

More than fifteen years have passed since she first stopped by. Back then she was a regular visitor to this park. Each afternoon, at the end of the school day, she would spend a few hours here. In those days, she was always accompanied by her young son. They would come skipping by together, talking and laughing as they passed me. They would often sit in the shade of my branches, eating ice cream or having a picnic together after school. I would listen to them talking, and loved to hear the boy’s stories about life in the second grade. The boy’s mother would often bring a ball, and the two of them would kick it around the park together. That kid really loved the dirt! Most afternoons he would sit and play in the dirt around my trunk, digging and building imaginary roller coasters with bark chips, or playing happily with his toy cars. I remember one windy afternoon, the two of them had great fun flying a kite together high above my leaves. It was the first time I had seen a kite like that, so who can blame me for snagging it on my branches so that I could get a closer look? They were both very happy when a gust of wind released the kite from my grasp and they could take it home! Sometimes, on weekends, they would come and visit together as a family. That boy looked just like his father! The three of them would sit on a blanket and picnic in the shade of my leaves, making memories and soaking up the time together as a family. On weekends, the boy would bring a baseball bat, and his Dad would pitch to him. That kid sure knew how to hit a baseball! When he connected bat to ball, Mom would go scurrying after it and throw it back to Dad. The three of them used to laugh and have so much fun together. The boy’s mother really loved those days!

My bough has become gnarled and I have dropped my leaves for many seasons since then. I have not seen the boy in many years. I am sure he must be all grown up by now. I wonder if he remembers those happy days like I do? The boy’s mother, on the other hand, is still a regular visitor to this park. I have not seen her since early December, and today is the first time I have seen her here on crutches. She usually runs right past me early each morning, barely stopping for a second to glance at her watch, before continuing on. Today, however, the boy’s mother has stopped and has, once again, sought the shade of my branches. Today, she pauses and reflects as she sits here alone. Today, perhaps, like me, the boy’s mother is thinking about those days, and remembering the joy that they shared together.
Saar likes this.
    • garrynkim
      What a beautiful story. It is very reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. I love how you've told memories through stories. Such a lovely layout. Love that you've included a photo of the boy and the tree.
      JenEm likes this.
    • Angela Toucan
      your tree and photos are so beautiful
      JenEm likes this.
    • Saar
      Wow, Jen, this is more than amazing. I loved reading your story. You have written it so beautifully. It gives my heart such a warm feeling.
      And to mention how beautifully you scrapped the story. The tree, the paint, the clusters, the leaves, the layers... nothing but love.
      I just have to put your layout in froggy favorites! It's beyond gorgeous!

      On a more personal note: I hope you and J are doing okay! :beat
      JenEm likes this.
    • Eyeore
      Oh my, that is just beautiful and strikes a chord with most of us Moms for sure.
      Sending you a hug today, I feel your heart and read your loss between the lines.
      JenEm likes this.
    • JenEm
      @garrynkim @Angela Toucan @Saar @Eyeore Thank you so much ladies. That boy is all grown up now. I love the adult he has become, but a part of me misses the days of him being a boy. Things just seemed so much simpler then! :) @Saar Thank you for the FF. It means a lot to me. We are all doing well. Just getting older and wiser, I guess! :giggle Love to you, sweet friend. :beat
    • Saar
      @JenEm Happy to read J has become a beautiful young man. I wouldn't have believed it otherwise! Happy to read you are both doing well! :beat
      JenEm likes this.
    • bestcee
      I love the tree on the background and the reflection of the park and how your visits have changed. Thanks for playing in my challenge!
      JenEm likes this.
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    Month of Challenges 9
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