the money tree

Amy - Willow, New York
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family, legacy

I believe that memories are an important part of life. Memories build up many emotions like love, happiness, sadness and laughter. I believe memories are the only thing that keep the people we know that are gone still around and the people we love and have passed on still alive. Without memories all existence would just disappear. Although not every memory is great it still has a meaningful place in ones heart if it’s something that you won’t allow to let go. They helped shape us to be the people we are today.

People like to think that young kids don’t remember most things when they are only five or six. But I remember perfectly how much my uncle loved me before he passed away. He always made going to my grandma’s house fun for all the young kids in the family. Out in the back yard there was a tree not just any tree, this is a tree all of the kids in my family will never ever forget. The tree is known as the money tree. My uncle would drill holes in loose change and hang them on the twigs on the bottom of the tree. The rule of the money tree was that you couldn’t take the money off the twigs we would have to wait until they slowly worked there way to the end of the twig and fall off. He also would put some change on the ground and that was supposed to be the money that has fallen. It was always so exciting to go to my grandmas and see if there was any change on the ground. The money tree always was a good excuse when my mother would say “money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Years later my uncle passed away and the tree is now bare but the legacy of the tree carries on inside all of us. About a year ago, I went to visit my second cousin who now lives in the house. I went out into the back yard to look at the money tree and I was on the ground pushing around the dirt and the leaves and I found a dime with a hole drilled into it. It was enough to make me smile for the rest of the day.

My uncle is gone but his love and all of the memories that we all shared with him will forever exist. When I think of him I don’t want to cry or wish he was here I want to remember him for what he was when he was alive. All I have to do is think of the good memories like the tree and I smile opposed to crying. And even though he’s not physically with us he is still in our hearts and in our memories.