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Tripp's Tree In North Hills Park

Every January there is a teacher's hockey tournament in Saskatoon. Hugh got on to a team his first year of teaching called, Without Principals. Eight years later, a few of them have gone completely against the name and become administrators, but they are still a team and talk year round about the tournament (not unlike the boy's fishing trip).

This March Hugh and I got a call from the team. They were going to have a tree planted in Tripp's name in the park at the end of our crescent. We were in Edmonton when we got the call. I remember crying. I cried because his team wanted a way to honor Tripp. I also cried, because when people do things for you in your time of need it reminds you of how much you are loved.

Hugh and I picked the tree with the help of Dee from Little Tree Nursery. We have purchased all the trees in our yard from them. They have amazing selection and knowledge. We wanted a huge tree that would be nice to sit under. Dee first pointed out a European Mountain Ash. It flowers in the spring, has small clusters of orange berries and turns a brilliant orange/red in the fall. Hugh recognized the berries immediately. He had this tree in his yard growing up and remembers having berry fights with his brother, Billy. It was perfect. Dee showed us a few more, but our minds were set.

We got a call on Friday that the tree was in. Saturday we walked over with Calder, my brother, Luke, and his girlfriend, Brittany.
I got very emotional when I saw it. I love his name and there it was etched in stone.

My mind instantly went to a time when I was a young girl. My grandma Fritshaw had taken me to the Tisdale Cemetery. I don't remember why we went, but I was completely intrigued. I soaked in the history. I particularly remember seeing grave markers of my great-grandparents. I remember feeling connected to them. I began strolling through other rows wondering who the people were and what happened to them. What stands out more than than anything was seeing the markers of children. I remember feeling so sad. I couldn't stop thinking about those kids and babies and questioning what could have happened that they died so young.

When people see this marker they will think of Tripp. Even though they may not have any idea who he is they will probably feel sad that his life was too short. They might even think about the people he left behind. Fifty years from now strangers will still be thinking and wondering about Tripp. It makes me feel good.

If you notice the tree is right behind the bench that our friend, Diane, collected money to have Tripp's name placed on it. More on that soon.

Hugh and I had our moment and chose to enjoy the rest of the time with our family. It was a beautiful day and we took advantage. We played hard and laughed lots.
Note: Hugh is not hugging me, he is tackling me.

 Luke gave me an underduck. I just about lost the popcorn we had at Cars 2!
 Calder got a bit upset when we had to leave. Here he is trying to pull Cleo back to the park. Calder's anger may have had something to do getting hit in the head with out of control swing (Uncle Luke jumped off his swing from a considerable height, sending the swing into a twisty, chaotic path)!

A huge thank-you to Without Principals and your families. 
We will enjoy Tripp's tree forever.


  1. Awww what wonderful tributes to your son!! We will have to go and see the tree and bench when we're in Martensville sometime. Lee got his tattoo of Jaren started a week ago - he will have to go back in a month to have the eyes, forehead and hair finished up. It looks great. We got through his b-day - the worst was the few days leading up to it. Hope you and your family are doing okay. Don't hesitate to e-mail me if you ever want to talk.

  2. Mom and Dad came to celebrate Thanksgiving with me today - always a tough weekend for us, but each year its a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for. They told me about reading your blog this morning and I had to read it for myself. What a beautiful place for you to enjoy your thoughts of Tripp. Happy Thanksgiving Jordan


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