In defence of Bobby Goldsboro. An interpretation...
The tree outside this house holds many memories. See how high its arms reach. Up to the sky. But I remember when it was nothing more than a spindly twig.
I had just come home from work and there my late wife was, holding it in her hand. She had already dug a hole for it and when I saw the pathetic specimen in her hand I laughed.
“That thing will never grow babe!”
“Just you wait and see!” she said with fire in her eyes.
She shovelled the earth back into the hole and carefully stomped it down so that the tree cutting would have the best possible chance of survival.
The following winter I remember that snow came early, blanketing the yard one cold November night. She put on her slippers and ran outside to brush the snow from her little tree. Before coming back inside she was laughing and threatened to throw a snowball at me as I stood in the doorway. Then she almost slipped on her ass and I laughed till I cried.
She was always so young at heart and that is partly why I loved her so much. Sometimes she could goof around and act dumb but at other times she was wise and clever beyond her years.
She had always wanted a dog and two years ago I surprised her with a puppy. Such a mischievous pooch. It kept me up most of Christmas Eve. I wanted it to be a big surprise on Christmas morning. She was so happy. It was love at first sight. She called him Jack.
She wore her heart on her sleeve and when watching television there would often be tears in her eyes. Sometimes, when I came home really late, she’d be wiping her eyes with a handkerchief after watching one of those late night shows and she would be kind of embarrassed.
What I would give to get back to those days. I miss her so much. I am trying to be strong, to live a good life and if I could speak to her again I would simply say, “Honey – I miss you! And I would love to be with you if only I could.”
I remember the time she crashed her car – an old Mustang that we bought from her Uncle Jimmy for a thousand bucks. It was wrecked. She came home imagining that I would be really mad with her but I was just glad she was okay. I pretended to be mad but she saw through me straight away and put her arms round my neck to hug me close. It’s funny the little things like that that you remember.
A few months after that she became ill and visited her doctor a couple of times. I came home from work early one afternoon and found her crying inconsolably on the sofa. She had received a proper diagnosis and told me that she only had a short time left. I could not believe it. It was awful.
The following weeks passed by in a blur. She would sit by the window looking out at her tree as spring flowers bloomed and robins sang. It was later, in the early spring, that she would leave us.
Oh, how I miss you Honey and as I said before I am trying to be good, wishing that I could still be with you, if only I could.
She was slipping away in front of me but the bills needed paying and she encouraged me to keep on working saying, “I’ll be alright darling”. She would sit in her armchair looking out at the yard and on her last day I came home to find her there but she had passed away that afternoon – all on her own. The angels came to take her away and now all that I have left is memories. At night I wake up calling her name.
For me life is now just an empty stage where Honey once lived and Honey once played. This house is where our love grew. Out in the yard a small cloud passes overhead raining gently on the flower bed that Honey loved so much.
And look my friend. Look at the big tree that Honey planted long ago. Once it wasn’t big - it was little more than a twig that she held gently in her hand. She got mad when I laughed at her, joking that it would never grow. But she was right and I was wrong. As I say, the first day that she planted it it was just a twig and look at it now.