Sunday, September 02, 2012

Eighty years young and a tragic end

She was a young lady of eighty years. She had so many stories to tell ... if she could talk. But she did not speak. She did not know how. She told her story in her wrinkles and her size. The task of speaking was left to others. And one thing she did better than anyone - she was always there for all of us - calm, imponent, shady - as a mother looking after her children wisely. How many times we've ignore her. How many times have we thought she would always be there. Under sun and rain, wind and snow.

Until, one day, they came after her. It was a Tuesday. And when I left for work, she was still there.

And on that day they came. Mercilessly, they toppled her. She said nothing. She did not ask for help. She could not. She did not know how. She was silent ... until her death.

When I came home that day, I saw her no more. She was gone. Gone was her trunk, her branches, her leaves. Gone. Never to return. Only the stump still reminded us that she had existed. For eighty years she existed. And, unannounced, she left us. Without even giving me a chance to say goodbye.

Who was she? Eighty years ago, it was planted by our neighbor and his first-grade classmates in front of the school where they went. A tribute to their retiring principal. For eighty years this tribute grew and gave us all shadow and protection. ... Until the day that unscrupulous people came to destroy it. Without mercy. Without even the right to do so.

Underneath its roots, protecting a secret, a time capsule. A capsule we all still hope to find, and finally provide her this final honor - At least the dignity of having the secret entrusted to her, and held until death, rescued into the world.

To me, I can only say what I wasn't allowed to before: Goodbye.

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