It was time to go. It was sunday morning and Pete and Mara were on their way back from Scotland. It was time to return their lovely country home to them. We decided that we would leave the house by noon.
There was a lot of scurrying around in the morning. Klay and Gayle were collecting their things, Qiyana was going to drop them off at the train station. Talithea had to get home to her family. And Mom and Felicia were cleaning up; Felicia had returned that morning to help clean up and get us packed to leave.
While all of this was happening, I was sitting miserably on the couch in the living room doing absolutley nothing. Nobody expected much from me. I hadn’t moved or spoken much. Instead I just sat blankly on the couch.
I didnt care about much. …and Kesner was still dead.
but in that moment I did make one decision:
I had to get my tree, Hope.
It used to be our tree, Mine and Kesner’s. We bought it one Monday afternoon from Home Depot: We had gone to see my friend, Joy, preach her senior sermon at Princeton. She preached about surrender, she was excellent. afterwards we went to a diner for lunch and then drove past Home Depot when Kesner said:
“lets plant a tree.”
What a good idea, I thought. I love symbolism. I began to imagine this tree growing and growing as a symbol of our love and the life we were building together.
“what kind of tree should we get?” I asked. “we’ll know it when we see it.” he replied.
Home Depot had been completely cleared out the weekend before, it was April and it was unseasonably warm. people were planting. The only trees left were fruit trees; apple trees and pear trees.
A fruit tree, perfect! – we thought
We were going to bear fruit together; a fruit tree seemed like the perfect symbol. we bought a baby apple tree. I immediately began to fantasize about our children eating apples from our tree one day…. I was excited.
Kesner told me to name it. I named it Hope.
Kesner planted Hope in his back yard. Hope was so cute and skinny at the time. We used to sit on his deck and look at Hope. And speak to Hope when we walked by. We even prayed over Hope. Hope was our growing baby.
Kesner planted Hope in a strange spot, however. Hope was right next to stone path. And Hope didnt have a lot of direct sun light because Kesner had this massive other tree that hovered over Hope and created a lot of shade. I asked him why he chose that spot and he said that Ce-Ce dug a hole there on the morning before he gave her back to her owners.
Ce-Ce is a sweet dog that followed Kesner home one night when he was going door-to-door on the campaign trail. He took her in and got her shots and fed her and adopted her for a few months, but he never stopped looking for her owners. Her owners finally connected with Kesner and one week after we started dating seriously, Kesner had to give Ce-Ce back. It was sad. I always held out a little hope that Ce-Ce would find her way back to Kesner’s house, but she never did. So I didnt argue with him when he wanted to plant Hope in the hole that Ce-Ce dug.
The tree’s name was Hope, after all. Hope would grow against all odds.
But Hope wasn’t growing. By now Hope had become completely overtaken by the shade of that massive other tree and I didnt think the concrete path would allow much room for Hope’s roots to spread out. Plus, now that Kesner was dead, what would happen to his house? They would sell it , I suppose.
I had to get my tree.
I made a decision. I wanted Hope, and I wanted to replant Hope at Pete and Mara’s country house. Hope would be safe there. They would take good care. Hope would have all of the sunlight that it needed. AND this was the last place that Kesner and I were together…
I wrote a letter to Mara.
I don’t remember exactly what I said in the letter, but I know I told her about Kesner. I also apologized for two cracked wine glasses, the orchid that had been stripped of its pedals and a cracked clay pot outside of the back door. And I asked if I could plant Hope at their house. I think I also mentioned that Plaque on the wall: Bidden or not bidden, God is Present. Even though I was pissed, I knew that God was present. I also thanked them for their beautiful home and I let them know that it was even more special to me now.
When I was finished writing the note, I went back to doing nothing. I just sat on the couch while mom and Felicia got us organized to leave. The couch was the last place that Kesner held me tight. We spooned on that couch on the last evening that we were together.
we had been arguing all afternoon. Towards the end of the argument, I was lying on the couch pouting, crying and being miserable, and he just wanted the argument to be over. He finally said: “can I climb in there with you?” and i said “ok.” He climbed behind me and held me tight and said “I’m sorry for whatever I did to upset you.” and I said “Im sorry for judging you and calling you mean.” he gave me three kisses on my shoulder and arm, and he held me there… that was our last night together.
So I didn’t want to leave the couch. ….but we were getting close to departure. I began to cry. Felicia saw me and she stopped everything and came over to the couch and held me in her arms like a child. (Tears are welling in my eyes now as i type this). My friend, Felicia, held me close and allowed me to cry aloud in her arms. That takes so much maturity and love. I sobbed and sobbed, and she held me until the moment passed.
Thank you Felicia.
When the moment finally passed and I prepared to say my goodbyes to the country house, I looked around and I made one more decision:
I would definitely live comfortably for the rest of my life.
© Copyright Thank You Very Sweet, 2011