A Tree Of Love

He has brought her home, to the place of his childhood,
to meet his family. He takes her for a picnic in the woods.
They walk hand in hand through this cathedral of green,
stopping beside a frolicking brook. In this idyllic scene,
him sitting with back against the trunk of a young tree,
her lying with head in his lap, “Beloved, will you marry me?”
Butterflies hover in flight. Birds stop singing in mid-song...
“Yes! Oh, yes.” “With you as my wife, nothing can go wrong.
Backed by your love and care, there’s nothing I won’t dare.”

Marriage ensues, then a lifetime filled with many a memory.
Periodically, they return hand in hand to sit under their tree
and reminisce, laugh, cry, plan, and there their love to renew.
(Once she came alone - he never knew - back during WW II.)
Along this happy brook, under a canopy of green, in mottled sun,
they celebrate life - children born, career success, victories won.
Time slips away, as it must. Children grown, fortune earned -
they approach the end of their time together. Their love still burns
brightly, giving both comfort and peace to this steadfast pair.

Even a love as true and strong as theirs cannot defeat Father Time
on this earthly battlefield. Cancer! His cancer. There is no rhyme
or reason to cancer...certainly no compassion. His doctors give
him mere months to live. His 85-year-old body can not forgive
the injury and damage suffered. He requests once more to visit
their tree. As they sit, head in lap, he says, “Our love is exquisite!
Like this tree, now majestic, our love has grown even stronger
throughout the years. It cannot be killed by my death. Longer
than one earthly lifetime our love shall last. In Heaven, where
you find a tree beside a brook, I”ll be waiting for you there.”

Harry Edward Gilleland      02.12.03