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.
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?