Olives Trees have many meanings: strength, immortality, hope … Sandra chooses to plant one in the memory of her father. Flash back on the history of this tree, called Moïse.

Sandra*, 45 years old is a bank manager and lives in Bollene (Vaucluse). This woman is very close to her parents, specially her father James*. When she was 40, she met a man, Mike*, with whom she shares a lot of passions. “A few years after we met, in august 2013, we decided to get engaged and we received a gift from a friend: an olive tree” she explains. At this time, as they were thinking to build their own house, they decided to wait before planting the tree.
Unfortunately, one year later, James, the father of Sandra was hospitalized because he made an aneurism. Doctors, weren’t very optimist about his state so Mike, to cheer up Sandra and James, proposed to her, in the hospital room. At this time, they were only three people in the room, so James was the only to know. A few hours later, Sandra’s father died peacefully. It was on January 1st, 2014. “He wasn’t buried, he wanted to be cremated, so I kept his ashes to throw them in a place that he liked» she remembers.

“I knew he was on my side”

Some days later, Mike and Sandra announced their wedding to the rest of them family. During one year, they prepared the ceremony and finished building their house. Two days before the wedding, they planted the olive tree in the garden and called it Moïse, Sandra’s father nickname. The day of the wedding, because she was upset, missing her father, Sandra recalls: “I decided to go to the city hall with his picture, even if he wasn’t physically with me, I knew he was on my side, so to me, it was normal to represent him”. All night long, his picture was present, close to his daughter, “nevertheless, it was a very festive and happy marriage, and I didn’t think about his death all day, just by moments”.
The following day, on August the 30th, closest family members shared the rest of the wedding breakfast. At the end of the afternoon, Mike and Sandra decided to talk, “we asked them if they wanted to come with us to throw my father’s ashes around the olive tree” said Sandra. Everybody was present to support her “they made a circle around the tree, it was very simple and solemn”. According to her, “he always protected me and now, even if he’s gone, I’m convinced he still protects me” she adds. Even if she didn’t believe in reincarnation, for her, “my father continues to live through the olive tree Moïse, this tree was his favorite”. It grows up “as my father would like to increase his protection around the house and around us” ends Sandra.

*names have been changed for this article.

Pauline Vilchez.