Anna Bradfield Writes

Discovering the extraordinary in everyday life

The Grief and Growth of Letting Go

You have to know this tree to really love it. Love it like its family does. Or did.

When the kids and I first considered moving into our home in 2002, reeling from a marital separation that would eventually end in divorce, it was the tree that drew us – or me, at least.

Perfectly formed and standing tall near the block’s corner, the proud maple anchored our three-bedroom ranch to the neighborhood. It anchored me, too. It made me feel like this was home and gave me reason to trust for a better tomorrow.

I envisioned my son climbing this beauty and hiding out with the other block boys until I called him in for supper. I pictured snapping photos of my daughter under it, fresh and happy and standing next to her date before the homecoming dance. All these visions became reality, and many more besides.

So you can imagine my distress ten years later, now remarried, when I heard my stepson announce, “Something’s wrong with that tree.”

What do you mean?!? I thought. That tree’s perfect! Nothing wrong with it.

My stepson went on to say that the leaves were already turning brown and, “there’s something funky with the bark.”

True to the boy’s prediction, the leaves browned and curled, falling before the other trees even began to turn. Nothing a good winter’s rest won’t cure, I reasoned.

And yet the following spring, as all the other trees budded, my beloved maple seemed to quiver against the grayed post-winter sky. As the birds made their nests in the eaves and the wreaths and the other trees in full bloom, my tree stood naked and alone.

We watched it for a year. Hoping. Wondering. But knowing. Its time had passed.

As much happiness as it had given us over the years, it was time to let the tree go. We were doing it no favors keeping it rooted, reminiscing over its strength of days’ gone by. It was time to clear it to make room for another. A stronger tree. A tree that would give us even more pleasure. As long as we kept this tree that was no longer useful, we would be kept from the blessing of the next.

Letting go is hard. But sometimes it’s good, too. We’ll see.

Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, tell us about a time where letting go of one thing allowed you to reap the benefits of another.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

photo credit: <a href=”″>DSC_1374</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

About Anna Bradfield

Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.

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