Christmas Tree

I published this a day or two ago and then somehow deleted it. It describes a signal moment in my life, a moment which pointed out to me the need to change and to admit my fear of intimacy and let those I love get to know the real me. Actually I think it might be one of the only ways for us to discover our authentic selves.

Andy is my son who now lives in Kansas with Mystie, his wife, and their three children. Steven is the eldest of these three and was not quite two years old back on that Christmas of 1991.

December 31, 1991

Christmas Tree

This year, for the first time, I bought a live Christmas Tree. There is an area in the woods that needs to be filled in

When it was time to undecorate the tree and plant it, it occurred to me that Andy could be real helpful. Live trees are very heavy. I also thought it would be nice to plant it honor of Steven’s first Christmas with us. I hadn’t these thoughts when I bought it but they made me more glad that I had.

When Andy and I began to remove the tree from the house it began. He started to make recommendations as to how to move it. I thought he was telling me what to do and I resented it. I began to feel the familiar anger rising. I held it back.

We began to dig the hole and I noticed that Andy had gotten very strong, stronger than I. The anger abated. He started to tell me how the tree should be planted. The anger surged. Then reason took over when I admitted that he knew infinitely more than I about planting trees. He earns his living as a landscaper.

He asked me to fetch the hatchet to remove some old roots from the hole. I did. He handed me his knife and asked me to cut the nylon cords that were around the trunk of our tree. I did.

To me those cords now symbolize the ties that bound us unhealthily. They are now cut and without them binding us we can grow as friends, continually deciding who will be the helper.

Posted December 26, 2007


what a great christmas story. Thank you.

It’s ‘funny’ but I found myself digesting the part my pride plays in my estrangement (or at least ‘distance’) from people who are important in my life, like my siblings and my oldest son.

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