• Debbie Jacknin

My weeping cheery tree: a story of struggle, acceptance, destruction, regrowth, & new beginnings.

My late husband, Larry, conceived of the first Tree of Life stained glass mosaic when he had ALS and was struggling to accept help from others. The tree trunk is divided into 2 parts representing giving and receiving and being in balance when we are able to do both.

Consider winter, my least favorite season. The leaves are off of the trees and they almost look dead. Add a little snow and they are lovely. Spring, my favorite season, is just around the corner. This Tree of Life - Season of Life lantern shows the same tree in all 4 seasons.

This spring brings Covid 19. I know it is just a season.

I have always liked weeping cherry trees. Years ago, my sister offered to buy me one for my birthday. I went to a nursery and told the employee I wanted a weeping cherry tree. He took me to a cheery tree and when I said it didn't look like a weeping cherry he told me it takes a few years for them to weep. I believed him. I planted it in the yard outside of the home where I raised my daughters.

Year after year, the tree grew bigger. And taller. And, it definitely did not weep. I would go outside, stand by the tree and be mad at the tree. The tree didn't care that I was mad. It kept growing and blooming anyway. One spring, when the tree was in full bloom, I looked up at it and realized it really was beautiful. It was not the trees fault it was not a weeping cheery. It was not made to weep.


I accepted, loved, and appreciated that tree for what it was - a tall, beautiful, and proud cherry tree.

I told this story to Larry when we first began dating. When my birthday rolled around, he surprised me by planting a weeping cheery tree in my yard.

Once we were married, Larry and I moved so he could be closer to his work and I decided to rent out the home where I raised my girls. Several years later, Larry experienced complications due to ALS and needed to be hospitalized. I was pulling into the hospital parking lot when one of my tenants called to ask if he could do some landscaping. He suggested that I meet him at the house so he could show me his plans. I had more important things to worry about then landscaping so I gave him permission to do what he wanted sight unseen.

What did he do? Trim a hedge? No! He cut down both of my cherry trees as well as an apple and a pear tree. What did those poor trees do to him and why on earth would he cut them down?

Oh well. Trees can be replace. Larry came home and he was fine. He still had ALS, but we continued to enjoy many wonderful moments together.

My favorite weeping cheery tree is the one outside my current home. Our anniversary is in May so, Larry bought it as an anniversary present the year we moved. Today, it rained on and off. When the sun came out I went to look at the tree. The rain helped my beautiful weeping cheery tree bloom.

My youngest daughter just moved back into her childhood home. I will get her a weeping cheery tree. Or, maybe a cherry tree that doesn’t weep? Just like each of us, the different trees each have their own beauty.


My oldest daughter is pregnant and truly about to bring new life into the world.


And life in general? It is full of struggles and destruction. Acceptance is important. Life is also full of regrowth, & new beginnings.

To register for a class, for more information or for pricing contact Debbie at 412-427-5500 or Debo1960@aol.com

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