Tuesday, May 05, 2009

 

On cat feet


Yesterday, Maggie Weaver died. There is a lot about death I don't understand, though it is the second time in a week I have written about it-- first the death of one who sought it, and now the death of someone who fought hard for life.

Last night I got a text message from Maggie's good friend Flo Rueda, which said, "her last wish was to have a magnolia tree planted at the law school. Help me get that done." I wrote back asking why she wanted a magnolia. Flo responded "She said it sounded like 'Maggie.'"

We should get that done, in her memory-- plant a Maggie tree.

When I moved to Waco, the new house had a beautiful magnolia tree in the front yard. It was not something that existed in Michigan, and the damn thing constantly surprised me. Its leaves fell off, but not in the Fall; it just shed leaves whenever it wanted to. It was as if the magnolia family had not gotten the memo that went to all of the other trees, but that did not change its beauty one bit. When it bloomed, too, it was remarkable. Cars would slow down, and I would sit on the front step because at its best, when it put on a show, there was nothing better in the world, nothing more beautiful or true or compelling.

Then, over the course of a year, it died. The tree guy had to convince me that it couldn't be saved; I didn't want to believe it. They came while I was at work and cut it down and when I got home there was a hole in the front yard, kind of a dip in the lawn, and a lot of wood chips. They said the hole would sink deeper at first, but then if I put some dirt in it, things would even off and eventually I would never know there was a tree there. So I waited, and the hole did get deeper and more noticeable, so I filled it and waited. The hole re-appeared, so the next year I put in some more dirt and planted grass. There must have been something about that particular magnolia that the tree guys did not understand, because I never could get that hole to go away, and it is still there. Eventually, I just accepted it-- that this hole in the yard was going to be there, and that the balance between having the magnolia gone and yet having its legacy written so clearly onto the Earth was not something I could control. I had to accept that I was not even the Lord of my own yard.

So, yes, let's plant a magnolia. Let's make that happen.

Comments:
Maggie told me once that her mother wanted to name her "Magnolia." Her dad insisted that she be named "Maggie."

A Magnolia tree called the Maggie tree would certainly be appropriate.
 
She had a nice legal philosophy, too.
 
A poignant word. Maggie's family and her friends are in my prayers today.
 
Let's get that done. I don't know how much pull I have with anyone important, but I can add my voice to, i'm sure, the chorus of voices that call for a Maggie tree.


Love,
Matt
 
I did not know Maggie but have been inspired by her and her husband's faith and strength throughout this process. I am a Baylor Law School alum and would be willing to do what I can to see that her tree is planted at the law school with a marker in her honor. I hope to hear details about it on your blog.
 
I will do whatever I can.
 
It makes me so sad for Chris, and we really appreciate his sharing this thing with the world.
 
I'll be there to help any way I can. Maggie was a true inspiration and I was blessed to know her.
 
Oh, how fun Magnolia trees are; they are the best climing trees. I remember being a kid and climbing so high in one that I almost couldn't get down. They are the funnest trees. What a fitting tree to serve as a tribute to such a fun person. I will do whatever I can to help.
 
I knew Maggie through a mutual friend. She was a tremendous person and her spirit will live on in all that knew her. Heaven just got a little happier today.
 
God bless her family and her. I did not know her but I would like to do whatever to help get the tree planted. I have a friend that owns a local nursery.
 
I have always planned to name my (future) daughter Magnolia, and now it holds even more meaning. Today is a sad day. I would love to contribute, etc., to getting this tree put up.
 
I planted several trees when my mom died. They are a great memorial really. Especially such a beautiful tree like that.
 
Planting a tree in someones memory is a beautiful gesture. I look forward to adding a contribution to it's upcoming purchase.
 
What a beautiful idea!! I think that all of us that have our own yard and that knew Maggie should do the same!
 
What a beautiful idea!! I think that all of us that have our own yard and that knew Maggie should do the same!
 
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