My Mother, the Giving Tree

I was already in my late 20s when I encountered Shel Silverstein’s book, The Giving Tree, but I can’t help but not love this book. It is a profound story, beautifully written; a tale of a very selfish child and the pure love, undying generosity and sacrifices of a tree.

Here’s an animated video of Shel Silverstein’s classic, The Giving Tree:

How many amongst us can identify with the attitude of the little boy, and, the martyrdom of the tree? Some people just don’t understand human nature – the unselfishness, uncaring attitude and the lengths people go for the people they love. Perhaps they are simply in denial because they, too, find themselves in either character? Maybe this is the reason why a lot of people hated this book so much.

I have no problem admitting that I can see myself in the boy, and my mother is the Giving Tree.  Yes, I know Oprah will be in tears when she reads this. *lol* But seriously…

My mother gave, and continues to give, allowing me (and her other children) to take whatever we wanted, and just being happy by doing so. Me? I used to just take and take without giving a word of thanks and a thought of what was given up to accommodate my wants and whims. Does it make me angry or embarrassed because this story pointed out where I fell short? No, of course not. But it does make me sad, for some reason, for the sadness felt by the tree is, as what my mother always told me,  the same sadness every mother in the world feels when her child grows old and grows apart.

I love this book; it is timeless and for all ages. There is lesson to be learned and a powerful message to be heard and shared. I’m getting myself a hard copy and look forward to reading it to my children in the future. Re-reading the story again today, on my mother’s birthday, made me cry. I am reminded that this is the 10th year she celebrated her birthday without me. All I can do for now is talk to her via YM chat and blow kisses on the webcam.

Happy birthday, Mama. Thank you for being always the Giving Tree. You know we’d be there if we didn’t live so far.  I hope next year will be different though.

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