Something amazing has happened. Yesterday, Mike was outside doing yard work because the weeds in our grass were waist high. They had actually formed a small government and were in the process of organizing their militia. Something had to be done to get them under control. I was inside cleaning the kitchen because the dishes had been watching the weeds and were developing mobilizing plans of their own, when Mike came in through the back door and smiled at me through the kitchen window. "Come outside," he said. "I have something you'll want to see."
I followed him through the back yard to the north corner. There, behind the gardenias, was my dead and withered mango tree. Except, it wasn't dead. The original tree was still brown and dried, but down by the grass, two healthy shoots of leaves have started to grow. Two new branches sprout from the shriveled trunk. It's not dead! Life still remains.
As you know, that mango tree reminds me of Kenley's life. We planted it the weekend I discovered I was pregnant. It died at the same time we lost her. And now, it is growing new leaves. The main tree was beyond saving. We had to cut it down, so now those two little sprouts are growing alone.
I can't help but point out the symbolism with this. That tree was dead. At least everything above ground was dead. There is no question whatsoever.
For some reason, seeing these tiny shoots spring from the base of a dead tree takes away the sense of desperation in having another baby. It's not "I have to", it's "I will". I don't feel like I am scrambling to fill the emptiness - not anymore. Instead, I feel like I am capable of creating joy out of sorrow. I feel like I can carry on. Like the happiness I procure is a result of her existence and not in spite of her death. Trying for another baby feels like it has more purpose now, but with a sense of calmness and not panic.
I know it's just a tree. I know there really is no deeper meaning, but I want there to be. I want this new growth to signify moving forward. Healing. Living. Thriving. Trying again. Not to replace, but to honor.
There is always hope.