My story begins when I was born on October 28, 1950, to a Mom who loved the outdoors and trees and the Morton Arboretum. I have gone there my entire life and memories for each stage of my life that include the Arboretum...doing a Super 8 movie for my Humanities class at Willowbrook High School...going with dates to walk the paths of daffodils...taking a walk among my special pines. Later in life, I was lucky enough to live very close for my walks. I brought my children there in all seasons. I especially remember the springtime and teaching my daughter all the wildflower names and trees. Every time that my Mom visited, we went to the Arboretum. And so, when Mom was turning 90 in October 2011, we went on an expedition for acorns from the Arboretum. Shortly after, we realized it would be her last visit and she passed away on Christmas Eve 2011. I had about 30 acorns which I had wrapped in sawdust and a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator to germinate. I left it there the whole winter while I was grieving. In the spring, I finally opened the bag but, to my dismay, none had germinated! I said, out loud, “Oh, Mom...” and threw the whole bag on the ground outside while I worked in the garden. What a surprise when 9 acorns sprouted! I planted all nine in pots and tended to them all summer inside a screened-in porch. Finally, the day came when my husband and I planted them. Only one survived! We have watched it slowly growing...we even transplanted it when we moved. Today, my little oak tree is about six feet tall and thriving. To look out my window and see my tree grown from an acorn that was found with my Mom, means she is still with me and lives on every day with that strong tree...still giving me advice to enjoy each day and the changes that come with each season of my life...as leaves drop, letting go of unimportant things....standing upright during the winter to show strength...and the little sprouts of hope with each leaf bud in the spring...finally, proudly showing off with each beautiful green leaf. I look forward to celebrating the day it finally has its own acorns to share with my daughter so she can have a memory tree from me.