Today, a tree was planted in my backyard.
It was a gift from friends, and I hope it can make it. It's a little thing right now, and I hope that getting it in the ground, with lots of fresh air and sunshine, will help it grow.
When Connor died, the women with whom I graduated high school worked together and sent us a seedling too. And one of them, a horticulturalist, also had one planted in Islamorada, FL, where she lives and works, in his honor. And our next door neightbors gave us an apple tree kit, which is the kind of tree Drew wants to plant when we inter the ashes. And my Prison Listers - my college friends from our residential college - planted a tree in Connor's honor at Tuckahoe Park about a quarter mile from the house and next to the school where his beloved Ms. Robin teaches (and taught him). And then another dear friend from college offered to have a tree planted somewhere nearby in Connor's honor. I told him we were overrun with trees, but suggested that he plant a tree where he lives in Roanoke to commemorate my sweet boy.
And then...an idea started to germinate.
(See what I did there?)
What if we planted a tree everywhere we went, and helped populate the earth with more green in Connor's honor? Not to a micro-level (or, if I were being hipstery, going meta on this idea...) so it's not as though I am suggesting that each time I drop my kids at school, or go to 7-11, I'm going to plant trees there. More along the lines of wherever we take family trips, we work in either the planting of a native tree or arrange for that to take place before or after if necessary. Something we can do as a family and honor our son and brother together wherever in the world we decide to go. Because we already feel that we need to go further and see more now that we can, and if we can help the earth in doing so, in his name, well, all the better.
So, if the spirit moves you, go plant a tree for Connor. Try to take a picture of it and send it to me. I'm going to start an album of Connor's trees. Including follow up visits too, years in the future.