Thursday, September 3, 2009
Permit me one more post about my family.
While looking for quotes the other day i came across this little story that Troy had written in 1995 for our sister Kelly's funeral. Kelly committed suicide at the age of 35 after many attempts, starting as early as the age of 8. I hadn't read this piece in years. I was thinking about asking Troy if he still has this because of what is going on now.
As i had written here a few days ago, Troy's son committed suicide at the age of 24 on August 20. Unlike our sister, Joshua was not addicted to alcohol or drugs and there were no outward signs, nor were there any earlier attempts.
I don't normally put this kind of family stuff out often, but for some reason i feel a need to not move on quite yet with the blog, pretending that everything is normal. Nothing is normal.
I know with time the rest of us in the family will move beyond what feels so terrible now, but for Troy and Josh's older brother Brian, nothing will ever be normal again for them. In being around them these past two weeks i have found they are both much stronger than i had thought earlier and I take comfort in that.
Anyway, i love this piece that Troy wrote and wanted to share with you all what a special brother I have. He is kind man of simple tastes, an endearing lack of sophistication, and a deep heart and soul. His son Joshua was very much like him.
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When I was young, there was a tree growing near our house in a field across the way. This tree was not ordinary. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary was the life in this tree. The tree was not in good shape, it was split in two. Dry frail branches and wood revealed by the split was brittle and weathered. It was not a big tree, for it never fully matured.
As fragile as the tree was, one branch strived to produce, sucking all the nutrients it could from the earth. The end of this branch revealed its identity - a perfect peach dangled from the branch like an ornament on a Christmas tree.
How could a half dead tree still bear fruit? I stood in awe of that peach. I never wanted to pick the peach for fear it would not produce the next year. I admired its beauty and strength.
Year after year, the rest of the tree was aging and splitting even more. The brush of berry bushes, grass, vine and ivy overwhelmed it. Engulfed by its surroundings made it harder to spot where the peach was, but when your eye would catch it hanging on its last branch . . . . it was still the most perfect peach. I reached to it and touched the fuzz and knew it was firm. This peach was not to be picked by me ... or anyone else.
Years past without me visiting the tree, but I always knew it was producing one perfect peach. The end was inevitable given the tree’s dying trunk.
My last visit to the tree was not surprising, for the earth had finally taken the tree. . .
But God had picked the peach.