When I was five years old, my grandpa and I got a little twig in a paper cup from McDonald's on Earth Day. My grandparents had a beautiful garden and a HUGE pine tree in their backyard that I loved. I wanted my own tree, and my grandpa would do anything and everything to make me happy, so he helped me plant our little twig in my front yard. We bought some small fencing to put around it to protect it from lawnmowers, dogs, and anything else that could potentially harm it. I watered it and cared for it as if this was the most beautiful twig I had ever seen because after all, it was MY twig.
That December, the day before Christmas Eve, my grandpa passed away in his sleep. I was crushed, and still miss him terribly, but wasn't quite old enough to understand how to process the loss at that age. I kept caring for my little twig, OUR little twig. Today, twenty-five years later, that little twig stands about fifteen feet tall and produces gorgeous pinecones year after year. It's a way to still have a part of my grandpa here with me. I have a Christmas wreath made out of some of the pinecones. And while the tree may be a little lopsided and bare in spots, in my mind, it's perfect. My beautiful little twig grew into my perfectly imperfect memory of my grandfather, and I have always and will always lovingly refer to it as "My Grandpa Tree."