Even if eternity were simply living under a tree with all my dear ones…

There are moments in our lives when we experience exact peace and happiness. Often we do not even realize it at the time. Only later, when the moment has passed, are we able to reflect on the beauty of what once was.

Many have set goals or dreams for themselves based on what will help them realize a fulfilled life. These goals may have their basis in career aspirations, perhaps the pursuit of perfecting a specific skill or talent, or discovering one’s passion and chasing after it religiously… Their are myriad noble and worthwhile pursuits; all of these things can add up to a greater degree of fulfillment and pleasure in our lives. 

I distinctly remember the years, months, days, hours, and even seconds leading up to my senior recital. It was the last big requirement I needed to complete my degree in music performance, and it was also one of my greatest accomplishments in life thus far—at least outside of being a mother. When that milestone was miraculously reached, I was elated beyond anything I had ever experienced—except for the joy that flooded my heart after giving birth to each one of my children. It paled greatly in comparison to that.

Motherhood is a gift like no other. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to this depth of love and happiness. For those that believe mothers are somehow sacrificing all of life’s many pleasures in order to raise children, they are sorely mistaken; motherhood is precisely the icing on the cake that makes life so worth living.

It was such a moment of euphoria upon reaching a longtime aspiration of completing that college degree. However, my greater joy ultimately lied in the fact, that now, I could finally focus my precious time more fully on my children. Longing for snail-paced days at home once again with my little ones, completing my degree signified something vastly different for me than it did for my friends and colleagues at the university.

There is no regret in the time and sacrifice invested in my education—it has proven to be very useful. However, I have never experienced even a fraction of joy with the achievement of my college degree as I have felt sitting in the midst of my sweet, precious children. It is a happiness like no other. In fact, I do not believe we can get any closer to complete joy and fulfillment in this life than that which we experience at the heart of family…


Eternity for Me—Under a Tree, Please

A castle tall as the sky is wide with turrets to outline the blazing horizon,
Set before a mountain with peaks stabbing through the stratosphere…

Rooms of gold and silver and stone, beyond the wildest imagination,
Gardens surround the fortress’s walls, blankets of lush green and flowered…

Music for celebration of all that is joyous, not a dissonant tone prevails,
Laughter and singing from a people so gentle, no unkind intention allowed…

For in the heavenly realm the angels abound, in all that’s good and right,
Eternal bliss with life’s truest, and Father’s hands in the midst.

Give me not this heavenly gift, nor offer me none such thing,
For me I only have one desire—to be placed under a tree.

A tree so pure and humble, flowering from start to end…
And underneath it I will live, with my loved ones forevermore.

A castle grand cannot satisfy what only love can give,
But with my family there is no place that eternal happiness cannot live.

So place me there, under that tree—it is all I ask.
When I die, I should like to be, gathered there with my family.

Leave the castles to the higher-ups, A tree is all I ask for….
Again I say, for me, I’d be content for eternity under a tree—

If only I had my family.

4 thoughts on “Eternity—Under a Tree for Me, Please

  1. I love her tree paintings. She painted me a tree because I saw her painting a tree and I told her how pretty it was. She even put sunflowers in the painting because she remembered that they were my favorite. I miss her so much, especially lately as I’m preparing for my own recital. It is impossible not to think of her since I’m going through all of the things I originally did with her for what was supposed to be our junior recital. Filling out paperwork, writing program notes, thinking about order, etc. I miss her.

    1. Brittni, her trees were the best!!!! I am so happy to hear that she painted trees for you!!! Josie showed her love in many ways, but often it was with a gift of this sort…I believe she is incredibly proud of you for not giving up on your dreams—that is what she would have wanted. I am certain of it. I also believe she will be right there with you during your recital—she wouldn’t miss it for the world!!! I will be there too sweet girl. We so love and appreciate you. 🌻

  2. This is beautiful, Cousin. Just like you and your precious family! I love you all dearly. Keep writing! I feel such peace when reading what you write.

    1. Thank you, dear Cousin—whichever one you are of the 50 or so cousins I have!!! I love you all, too. I am so grateful for your comments, and I will do my best to keep writing. I am so happy to know it brings someone a measure of peace…🌈

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