Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tamara's Story

A couple Sunday mornings ago, Rose walked in to church. I saw her in the foyer, quite a ways from the choir loft, and thought it looked like her. But keep in mind that I'd not seen Rose for probably 20 years. Rose and Randy came to our church when our kids were young. I worked with the kids in children's music at that time. Tamara LOVED singing - especially "Apple Red Happiness" and one of the songs from the first musical we ever did - it was a Palm Sunday story and we used this song every year for many years afterward for the children to process into the church waving palm branches. She also loved Caravans, which is a lot like Awana, for those of you familiar with that program.

One Wednesday night, my husband was helping the kids plant a tree for one of their nature projects. Tamara was the only one who seemed to be really interested in helping with the hard work of digging the hole. She and DC planted that plum tree right outside the window of the breezeway. She was 8 years old.

Tamara loved to help everyone - her mom did film delivery and traveled around to drug stores all over the region. They were in a Wyoming town probably 100 miles north of us, Tamara excitedly running around helping her mom. She was so excited that she ran into an intersection, was hit by a large truck, and instantly transported to the Jesus she loved. What a sad day for the children in our church. I'll never forget her funeral - all of the children came and sang that wonderful Palm Sunday song - "He comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna, Hosanna." I could picture Tamara up there running the streets of heaven, waving a palm branch.

The marriage did not survive, Randy married someone else, and Rose moved away. The plum tree was on the verge of dying as well. DC pruned it and worked with it - suddenly it sprang back to full life in the spring - and if you know plum trees, you know the profusion of beauty that can be. The children of our church can be found climbing in it after service if their parents are not watching them closely enough. Somebody took the plums home one year and made jelly for anyone who wanted it.

We had a plaque made and hung it right beside the window that encases that beautiful tree.


About two weeks ago, Pastor told us that he'd had a visitor the day before - somebody named Rose who asked if DC and I were still here. She had made the trip up from her home to see if the tree was still there. She was taking pictures when Pastor found her out in the parking lot. She thanked him for our church taking good care of the tree for the 23 years since Tamara died. Rose then decided she needed to take another trip up here, bringing two of her grandchildren, to attend a Sunday morning service. She told us it was like "coming home." I pray that she will seek out a good church where she lives and come back home to Jesus. She told me that every once in awhile she'll just start singing "Apple Red Happiness" and her grandkids think she's crazy. I think it's Jesus. What do you think?


Diane J. said...

I think you're right, Dawn. :-)

What a touching story. My eyes are swimming with tears as I type this. I can't imagine losing a child - practically a baby.

You've outdone yourself with this post, Dawn. This is some of the best writing you've ever done. Seriously.

Have a blessed Sunday, dear heart. :-)

Love and hugs,


Sharon Lynne said...

What a beautiful story. It's neat to think of God using Tamara's life to impact her grandchildren.

I'm sure that plaque means a whole lot to Tamara's mom, and it will mean a lot to the grandchildren as well.

Linds said...

I am with you here. I think it is Jesus too. And I have this vision of that tree being lovingly cared for all these years, and Tamara remembered, without thinking or knowing that her family might one day return to see it...... the little things matter, don't ther? This is a lovely post Dawn.

Barb said...

What a beautiful story, Dawn. I can't imagine the horror of watching your child run into traffic and being hit by a big truck. It's not surprising she "went away" for a while. But it does sound like she's coming back to Jesus.

That tree is beautiful and the plaque brought tears to my eyes. What a moving story. I smiled to think of Tamara running around the safe streets of heaven.

PEA said...

Oh Dawn, such a sad yet wonderful story...I've got tears in my eyes at the thought of little Tamara having died so young. Her spirit will indeed live on through that tree and I think it's fabulous that it's grown so tall and strong. What a moment it must have been to also see Rose again! Thank you for sharing this with us!! xoxo

Susie said...

Beautiful post Dawn. How sad to think of the lovely little Tamara gone too soon at the tender age of eight. The plum tree she carefully helped plant must be a beautiful and loving reminder for Rosa. I'm so glad you shared this story.

Linda said...

I'm sure you're right Dawn. What a bitter-sweet story. I, like you, pray that Rose and her grandchildren find a good church.
You tell such a wonderful story. I just get lost in the words. Thanks for sharing this.

ancient one said...

Hello Dawn. My first visit to your blog. I loved your story. I pray they will find a good church also. I'm so glad the tree is thriving. Thanks for sharing! A lot of children call me Grandma Ann and not all of them are my grandchildren, but I love them all!!

MugwumpMom said...

Definitely Jesus. What a touching story. Bittersweet. And I'll join you in that prayer for Rose.

Midlife Mom said...

Dawn what a wonderful story of homecoming. It sure sounds to me like she is coming back to Jesus! I'm so glad the tree was still there and in good shape thanks to your husbands pruning. Wonderful post as always!

Tonja said...

This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. It reminds me of how we are always talking about planting "seeds" in peoples lives and never really knowing if it takes root. It goes to show...if we plant...God will do the reaping. One way or another.

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Your best post ever, Dawn. So moving, I'll be back to reread when the house is quiet...with a tissue.


Linds said...

Happy 4th July, Dawn!

Karen said...

Oh. That gave me chills. I can't imagine that kind of pain. What a beautiful story.

Dianne said...

Wow..what a touching story, and what a sweet little girl! Like everyone else, I love the plaque and can't even imagine how much it must mean to her family. Great post.

(I linked over from Tonja's blog to yours and WILL be back!)