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My Special Cherokee Brave

A tree.

For Ryan.

I hear the words between my tears as my amazing friend Melissa tries to get the story out...

It sounds familiar and yet brand new at once.

In the days “after”, my memory was a blur... it still is as I cannot remember details or multitask to save myself right now...

I often walk into a room and forget why.

Pick up my phone to do something only to stare at a blank screen.

We have all done it in the craziness of life.

But this is different.

I have been here before.

So when Melissa called the other day all excited about the “tree”, it took me a minute to wrap my head around the story.

But the story is perfect.

Many of my incredible teachers and friends in my Powerflow community decided to plant a tree at our home in honor of Ryan.

Melissa explained that she was out with her mom and stumbled upon a nursery... from her hometown.. went in... found some cute guy, Connor and told him she was looking for a tree.

Details unfolded as she walked through the nursery in the direction of Connor’s suggestion “I think a Dogwood is a great tree for this time of the year”.

“Dog” anything sounded perfect she explained.

“It is a great tree down the road but is delicate and needs some extra care the first few years” Connor went on to explain.

“Extra care for a few years?!? Yeah Barb can handle that” Melissa continued.

And as they made their way through the maze of trees, Connor brought Melissa to this one lone tree and offered “This is my last one of this kind. It’s called a Cherokee Brave”.

At this point in retelling and hearing the story I am not sure who was crying more..

A Dogwood Tree for Ryan... my biggest dog lover. A Cherokee Brave for my bravest soldier. Extra care? No words.

And so today, Connor came on his own time, with my friend Melissa Giordano and Dianna Vays by my side to plant Ryan’s tree.

Connor was meticulous.... taking such care... giving it the first water and then teaching me how to water and care for it.

Then Connor stepped back and asked me if it was good, telling me wanted to make sure it was perfect for us.

All I could think was “it is perfect.” Perfectly imperfect.

It’s branches may grow uneven but it will be beautiful and have gorgeous pink flowers that make us smile every spring.

It may need extra water and care the first few years... but the work will pay off and it will grow from our love...

And everyday I will get to look out my kitchen window and feel a little bit of happy...

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