"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Best Day entry: Standing tall in the dark times, celebrating the tree of life

By on December 22, 2019 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Linda Reid and the “Tree of Life” symbol, which Linda considers her family tree.

By Linda Reid

June 12, 2019 was a day when improbable joy became a reality for our family. 

 After the unexpected death of her husband in 2012, we had walked with our daughter and her young children on a long journey out of tragedy and grief into the challenge of helping them as they began to rebuild their lives. 

 Her hope for the future was due in part to her reconnecting with her high school sweetheart. Their lives gradually began to blend together and after nearly 20 years apart, they made the commitment to marry. 

They chose to have just their children, parents and siblings present (plus one friend of the bride, one family friend who did their photography, and our pastor). 

Although the newlyweds live in South Florida, they wanted to get married in the Northwest where their families and roots are. They chose the beautiful setting of the Brown Family Homestead at Lake Wenatchee. 

Since we had camped and cross-country skied together there in their high school days, it was just the right place. The fields of early summer lupine added to the natural wonder of this venue. 

Each of us there knew both of their stories and understood the love and commitment we had been invited to witness. We watched and listened as they spoke their vows followed by promises his daughter and her two children also made. 

The happy couple in a field of lupine near Lake Wenatchee

After these heart-felt words, the newly “blended family” dissolved into a spontaneous family hug which caused tears of joy and explosions of gratitude and happiness from everyone of us. 

The celebration exceeded my expectations in every way. 

We were aware that our son-in-law’s mom had always hoped to have our daughter for her daughter-in-law when the two of them were together in high school. She made a beautiful toast at the meal we shared after the ceremony. 

It was a special moment for both of us in this “best day” when the two moms signed as witnesses on the marriage certificate. 

I almost always wear the silver “Tree of Life” necklace my daughter gave me for Christmas seven years ago. 

The “Tree of Life” is a symbol most often represented by a live oak tree. Live oaks are the trees that are planted in rows along the entrances to Southern plantations because they are known to withstand even the strongest hurricane-force winds. 

Their secret to survival is that their roots grow together underground as they stand side by side and this way, they hold each other up through the storms of life. 

For me, this is a perfect analogy for a strong family bond. 

When you have stood together through dark times and you eventually walk out into the light on the other side, it is easy to understand why this became my “best day of the year.” 

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