My friend said it was gone the last time she drove past our former farm.
The news, even half-expected, saddened me. I considered it mine. Every visit to my home town included at least a drive past to check for it’s presence and general condition.
My parents purchased it. One spring day I arrived home from school to find they had brought home at least three trees to plant in our expanded yard. The green ash did not fare well. The white birch liked it’s place east of the house and thrives. In my mind it became mother’s tree.
The spruce became mine. I assisted with the planting, mother took a picture of the event, and it became part of my 4-H project that year. A few years later we started to decorate it with lights at Christmas. It didn’t take long for it to outgrown the number of lights we owned.
I moved off to college and beyond. My parents sold the farm and moved to town. Friends purchased the place and we’d visit. When my own children were young teens I posed them next to it and had difficulty getting both tree and boys whole – it was much taller than the two story house by then.
So it’s gone now. Relegated to memory, a few prints from film, and one digital photo.