Flashback Friday: Family Tree

When my parents got married, my father planted a cherry tree to commemorate the event. As I was born the same year, I always thought of it as my tree.

Look at the poor little thing so spindly and weak.

My brothers and sister and I spent a great deal of time as children playing in the garden. It was our playground, our pirate ship, our stage, our fantasyland. The tree witnessed all of these squeals of joy and tears of frustration. It was used to tie me to, with my waist-length pigtails, whilst my youngest brother went in for tea! The fairies lived in that tree, you know the tooth-fairy and the ones that helped Santa at Christmas when he flew out of Castell Coch to deliver the presents. (I'm from Cardiff, that's what youngsters are told about the Fairy Castle).

Thirty years after it was first planted, this is what my tree had grown up into. I don't have a full height photograph, quite frankly the tree had grown too large! However, to gauge its growth, in the top photograph the bottom two stories of the block of flats can be seen. In this photo, the dark grey line in the background is the top of the three stories.

Last year, my parents moved out of my childhood home for a smaller, more manageable property. It absolutely broke my heart. I was the last person out of the house on the day that they left. I wandered from room to room; trying to imprint  the  smells into my brain, summoning a wealth of memories and being flooded with emotions. I stood in my bedroom infront of the french windows looking out at the view that had been mine for my formative teenage years. The cherry tree always had the most prominent part of that view, guarding and protecting the infants exploring the world beneath its boughs. Leaving the house, and my tree, behind that day was an absolute wrench like no other.

Please pop over to the host's blog to view the other posts for this week's Flashback Friday.

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  1. Elaine Livingstone says

    your lucky you had the stability, I grew up in the forces and moved regularly often stayng somewhere for as little as 10-12 weeks. didnt even have your own belongings, you moved you and went into next house with supplied furniture. not a good cgildhood

  2. Jenny Paulin says

    What a great story! Your tree is a beauty now isn't it? Your parents stayed in the same house for a long time didn't they? xx

  3. says

    I planted two tiny conifers in my childhood home for the government sponsored Plant a Tree in '73 campaign. They grew to be enormous.

    My trees were cut down and my childhood home was recently demolished :(

  4. says

    Oh God I feel your pain. My Mum left the house I was in since I was 12, when I was at Uni, and she didn't even let me go and say goodbye or pack up my room (which was my sanctuary), because she was moving back to Ireland having broken up with my stepdad. I cried buckets because of that and even had counselling :-(

  5. Jennie says

    A great post. David has a tree in his parents garden that he is very proud of and I know that we will do something similar for Esther and William. I never had a childhood home as we lived in various military married quarters around Europe, I would have loved a tree!!!


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