Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In Memorium

Spring 1998 ~ June 10, 2011

Evergreen Forever

Could this be a tear being shed for Ima?

No, just dirt in the eye or a poke from a

dried up pine needle.

It's been a year since I started getting ideas from Ima that it was okay with her if I let go. I guess it was inevitable. She's fought and struggled and hung on through every changing season and done a tree-mendous job, if I say so myself.

Initially it was salt in her veins. It was a slow, downward spiral after that. Because of that setback, she lost her footing {or should I say 'rooting'} and a year or so of growing taller. As is the truth in all things, so it is with the plant world and all green growing things around her did not stop or slow down just because she did. I guess survival of the fittest is the motto in all living things and the Wiley Willow saw an opportunity to grow taller and get more of the sunshine. Add lack of direct sunlight to Ima's weakened immune system and . . . well you can see what resulted. She branched out as best she could but, in the end, it wasn't enough.

Not everyone understood and appreciated Ima. Her rough exterior kept her isolated from any tree hugging and her sharp needles and weak branches were not inviting to birds looking to nest. Although I'm sure they may have robbed her of a needle now and again to feather their nests elsewhere.

Ima's sister Isa Tree.

So at last she is not only at peace but in pieces, no longer to be needled by dry days, crooked, drooping branches and mocking looks. She died bravely and gallantly at the hands of family who loved her enough to end her torment. Those of us left behind will probably never understand her internal struggles as she daily tried to keep up with her sister, Isa. As valiant as Ima was, in the middle of the dark night, she often wondered why she had not been the one to get run over by the drunkard. Isa bounced back {literally} in no time but Ima's trials struck at the very core of her existence.

Ima is survived by her sister, Isa and me, who both loved her. She is survived by many other family members who were not so fortunate as to have loved her in this life.

Three of the Yard Health Care Employees who attended to

Ima's last hours:  Carter, Tyler and Layne

Ima was not one to break down and fall to

pieces so Tyler willingly assisted her. 

Carter was careful not to cause any more

pain and suffering than necessary to Ima.

Colton carefully prepared the ground around

Ima so the extraction could go as painlessly

as possible. That would be the Grim Reaper

in the background.

Carter and Tyler gently monitor Ima's vitals

and strategically plan their next cuts.


Ima's final release had to be facilitated with

a chain. Kind of ironical, actually, that a

chain can actually be a means of release.

Stripped of all her pride, Ima prepares to leave this Earth.

The Grim Reaper prepares and hooks

up his equipment.

Doesn't she look like she's waving a fond

farewell? All five fingers, too!

Even without branches and leaves she

maintains her dignity! The ReaperMobile

may uproot her, but it cannot destroy her spirit!

Finally Ima is released from the cares of the

Earth and can proudly join all those pine trees

in the Great Forest. Her spirit will

make her a giant among them!

The Pall Bearers: Tyler, Carter, Colton,

Layne & Garrett. Grim Reaper there at the back.

Giving the Pall Bearers and Grim Reaper a

second chance to try and look somewhat sad.

Ima definitely leaves a hole behind that will

be hard to fill.

Okay, well, maybe not that hard considering

how fast the Grim Reaper works!

Waiting her turn at the crematorium. One day she will

happily help roast someone's hot dog or marshmallow,

or maybe just help destroy the ozone layer.

Ima clung to every last clod of dirt as long as she could and she should be very proud of her short time in this little spot of Earth. I will miss you. Please, a moment of silence . . .



  1. Sorry but the pictures had me and Adam laughing. No disrespect meant by any means! Glad you were able to document Ima's last days on earth.

  2. RIP Ima....I will miss you also though we never were formally introduced, I heard of you often.

  3. Wow!!! I think there is a Hospital for people like you. They wear jackets there too... straight ones. Got a good laugh, Thanks