A Tree for All Seasons

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A month after losing Nelle, we scattered her ashes to the coulee where I grew up.  I was still in a dense fog of grief.  It was Ger’s suggestion to bring her to the tree where my grandfather’s ashes had been scattered in 2011.  The Sheltering Oak is nestled back on my aunt and uncle’s land and on that day in early October 2015, Ger and I walked back there alone.  It was  crisp, Fall day with a bright, cold sun.  Leaves were making their descent from the branches to the ground.  We sat in silence for a long time.  Just sat.  I couldn’t bring myself to leave the tree, and leave her there. Continue reading

Familial Laughter

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This past weekend, I went to Wisconsin for a wedding shower, staying with my aunt and uncle.  Meeting Autumn for the first time was a flurry as I dropped the carseat into their entryway and headed back to my vehicle to retrieve all of the stuff.  My aunt peered into the face of her “griece,” as she calls her (great-nice).  Autumn began belly laughing, and didn’t stop.  She continued laughing and laughing as we settled into their home.  My aunt decided that it must be the laughter of recognition: looking into the face of family and knowing there is shared DNA. Continue reading