Posted Jan 13, 2010
Since Buck and I married, we shared twelve Christmas seasons and always used his ’everlasting’ tree. I was impressed with how lifelike it appeared the first time he set it up. I had always been a live tree lover, but being a practical person, I was quickly won over to the beauty of using his tree. I don’t know how long Buck had his tree before our marriage, but sadly, it was starting to show its maturity by dropping as many needles as a live, dehydrated tree might. A few days before Buck’s heart attack (Jan.1, 2009), we shopped for a new tree, taking advantage of after Christmas sales. Little did we know how our lives were to forever change in the next few days. Never would he lay his earthly eyes on our new Christmas tree or know that he would be spending his 2009 Christmas face to face with Jesus!
I’m so glad that we chose the tree together. A new tree seems fitting for the beginning of this new season in our lives. Although it isn’t a living tree, it is somewhat symbolic to me; representing a new beginning, full of brightness and joy for both of us; a representation of beauty and eternal, experiential bliss for Buck and a future full of hope, creativity, and growth for me. The tree is also a beautiful sentimental symbol of the love my Sweetheart and I shared.
Putting the tree together for the first time was a bit challenging, and simply getting it from the basement to my living room was no easy task. I quickly realized that there was no way I was going to get the tree to the main floor in its original box. It weighed a ton!
So the pieces arrived in the living room one segment at a time, and provided some much needed exercise. All tolled, the tree components and boxes of decorations and ornaments necessitated about eight to ten trips up and down the stairs. I was pretty much spent at that point, but was determined to at least get the tree erected, before I called it a night in the wee hours of the morning.
The next evening was the most difficult part of my Christmas season, as this was an opportunity to reminisce over many beautiful moments and memories we shared during our wonderful years together. After our first few years of marriage, we decided not to exchange gifts any more, but we choose ornaments for each other every year. As you can imagine, trimming the tree had its excruciating moments as I weeded through the numerous combined his and hers collections that we brought together our first Christmas. I have decided that I will be separating “our collection of treasures” from Buck’s array of ornaments from his past, and pass them along to Jessi and Kevin, which I am certain will be sentimental gems for them as well.