Sunday, July 10, 2011

From Tiny Acorns

The Cutest Acorn in the Garden
There is a connection between the falling of the great White Oak in my front yard and the month-early birth of my grandson. It’s a connection one feels with that other sense – the sense that bypasses the thinking brain and goes straight to the soul. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, I am sorry for you.

The oak tree is well over a hundred years old. One of six in my front yard. This one was closest to the house. My husband’s new car was parked in the driveway when the storm came. He and Blanche, our dog, were in the opposite side of the house. The tree broke off about three feet below ground and fell exactly where it would do the least amount of damage. It just clipped the corner of the garage with its grand trunk. A large limb lay across the hood of the car but it didn’t actually hit the car. When the car was moved, the limb remained in place. There wasn’t so much as a scratch in the car’s paint. It was all over and the wind was calm when I got home from work.

The tree easily could have cut our little house in two. It could have taken some other trees with it. It could have killed my family. It could have uprooted and torn up the driveway and the shade garden. It could have landed on our neighbor’s house. It could have. But it didn’t. It was the noble dying gesture of a very kind, great tree whom I loved and who loved me. No one can convince me otherwise.

My grandson was born in a different sort of storm. His mother, my daughter, is the strongest and bravest person I know. If I ever grow up, I hope to be like her. She jumped through hoops to maintain her fertility. Two years of Lupron without complaint. And her pregnancy was no bed of roses, though I didn’t know that until the very end.

She was in and out of the hospital a few times in the days before the baby was born. I kept getting long distance updates from my calm-sounding son-in-law. Back pain, inducing labor. . .then kidneys not working, fast fever. Plane tickets! Labor went nowhere so they broke her water and there was lots of blood. My baby couldn’t breathe and she saw stars. Within minutes she delivered not only my grandbaby, but an appendix that was headed south. I was headed north to Chicago.

By the time I got there, they were both out of intensive care. The storm had passed. But like the storm that took the tree, this one left more to do. My daughter will require more tests and treatment. But after a week in hospital they are home.

Collin Joseph, my perfect grandson was 7 pounds, 10 ounces at birth. We’re all relieved he didn’t go full term in that respect. He has taken to eating like a pro. He belches and farts and makes funny faces. He’s a champion pee-er and pooper! What a boy!

And it’s so much fun watching my perfect daughter and son-in-law enjoy him so much. My daughter is eight years older than I was when I had her and eight years more ready to be a mother. She’s calm and so very happy and grateful.

I found seedlings growing near the tree. They will be nurtured and grow strong long after I’m gone. The big tree has been cut into pieces that will all be used. I have several two foot trunk pieces to use as stools. Longer pieces of limbs will be used to make raised garden beds. Some will be firewood to warm the house during South Carolina’s two weeks of winter. I have a friend who does lathe work and a brother who can carve wood. Maybe some branches will be used for furniture. I will always have a piece of that tree. And so will Collin.


  1. AND her appendix? From where?
    An amazing story. Even though I've never been a mother, I am now a grandmother and a great-aunt, so I understand what you mean. A kindly oak tree and a healthy baby boy — yes.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Love, love, love. You are a wise and wonderful Nana Foo. n

  3. Congrats Fay!!!! So happy for you all!!! Hugs from me to you~

  4. love the cute baby,

    it reminds me of my own boys when they were babies.