Palm Trees

Jeff Olson —  October 12, 2012 — 4 Comments

One of the things the State of Florida is known for are its palm trees. You know you’re in the Sunshine State when you start to spot its unmistakable canopy of evergreen leaves sprouting out of the top of its long, branchless trunk

As I was returning home from a recent trip to Florida, it dawned on me that I didn’t remember noticing palm trees. Normally, these tropical icons are one of my favorite things to see in Florida. But on this recent trip, I didn’t “see” them.

The palm trees were there. I just wasn’t.

On this most recent trip, I had traveled down to my parent’s house in Florida to help sort through their belongings and settle their estate. (Earlier this year, both of them unexpectedly passed away).

This trip was another one of those emotionally taxing, but necessary tasks that adult orphans find themselves having to do.

This trip also reminded me of the fact that when you’re grieving the loss of someone close, you are not yourself. Things that used to be important don’t seem to matter as much. For a period of time, (sometimes a very long period of time), you often lose the desire and freedom to appreciate the things of life that you once enjoyed.

But unlike the ones that we love that are gone, our capacity to enjoy and appreciate things, even little things like palm trees, can return. It takes time. Sometimes it can take a few years. But eventually the fog of grief will start to lift, and our desire and freedom to enjoy life can slowly come back.

While future trips to Florida will never be the same without my parents, a time will come again when God will lift my heart to enjoy the majestic beauty of a palm tree.

Jeff Olson

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eff is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Michigan and has worked for Our Daily Bread Ministries as a counselor and a writer since 1992. He has authored a number of Discovery Series booklets ( on such topics as addictions, grief, depression and marital abuse. He also maintains a part-time private counseling practice in the West Michigan area. Jeff and his wife, Diane, have been married since 1986 and have raised two lovely daughters. He is an avid outdoors man who also enjoys sports, music, boardgames, books, and movies.

4 responses to Palm Trees

  1. I’m sorry for your loss, but completely understand your feelings. I have often said I felt like an orphan after my parents died several years ago, even though I’m 55 years old. I have been told by many that it’s not appropriate for me to say that. Thank you for showing me that others really do feel the same way about it.

  2. Thanks Debbie…Even at 47 years of age the word orphan is one of the best words to describe this new period of life.

  3. Thanks for sharing. It reminds us to slow down and treasure the time we have with our love ones.

  4. Hello i just came across this blog while browsing RBC website. I need to help my friend who is suffering such a loss and in Depression,Can I get your help or mail Id to tell you more,I have read your book on Co depedency,My friend is in such a state and fits in state of that helpless victim who wants my attention on him all the time and sometimes i show that resentment towards him.I want to sort out this problem and how can I help him more effectively.He doesn’t believe in Christ yet!

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