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.