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Symbols Of Life And Death

Life around this house is so precious. We treated it with kid gloves these past few years, as you know only too well.

And so it was, when I drove into the driveway last night to find one of our beautiful oak trees leaning. The stump seized from the ground and close to a hundred feet of oak, hanging over the garage.

The only thing that stopped it was a sister oak that had caught it in the Y of two strong branches. There was nothing to do except hope. Hope that the healthy tree was strong enough to shoulder the sick tree until morning, when the experts would come to take it down.

Leroy and I chose this neighborhood because of its trees. Sturdy oaks, poplars, cherry trees surround this house. They have given us shade during the hot, humid summers. Beauty in the fall and even in the winter, when they stand like sticks against the harsh elements, they are symbols of life against all odds.

They are just like us. They get sick, too. On the outside, this tree looked fine, but
at its roots a disease was killing it from the inside. When the tree people sawed through its trunk, the sap, its life's blood, poured out. The face of the trunk exposed showed the spots of decay.

I'm sure tree doctors, don't call it tree cancer. There's probably a very fancy name for what was killing this oak. But that's what it looked like to me. And I know cancer when I see it.