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A Tree Grows in Red Square

Life Is Fleeting

By Stephanie J. BradberryPublished about a month ago 3 min read
A Tree Grows in Red Square
Photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash

Your life was snuffed out

We captured our thoughts in brick

A tree grows for you

Life is fleeting. Such a common saying now borders on the cliché. Nevertheless, so much truth abounds in a three-word axiom.

Death has a strange way of bringing people together for myriad reasons. Sometimes death feels more like a referent for life.

My high school class missed our 20th reunion due to “the pandemic.” Try as many classmates might, we couldn’t bring any of our alternative ideas to fruition. Concepts on the table included: crash another class’s reunion, meet for dinner at a restaurant close to our alma mater, coordinate an overnight camping trip. Finally, two years later, the fall of 2022 struck gold. A tailgating get-together for homecoming focused on the Black student population morphed into a mini class reunion for all students of the class of 2000 and other years.

What made so many classmates from near and far show up for such a random event? One of our classmates died just a few weeks prior. She was actually the first roommate I had at the school, we played soccer and ran track together, and almost ended up at the same college. Most of us just turned 40, so I think her “sudden” death, coupled with the loss of a classmate two years younger than us in the same week was a bit much of a reality check. On a lighter note, many were there to be honored for many of my classmates being inducted into the Hall of Fame that day.

But many more memories that made us realize how fleeting life is happened that day. As some of us strolled the campus to see our old dorms and rehash popular shenanigans that took place, we came across the main hub of the campus, Red Square. Aptly named because it was a big square formed from red bricks.

Red Square is now much different from when I graduated.

First, what used to be a little sapling honoring the passing of a classmate a year ahead of us is now a sturdy, well plumed tree. The ironic thing is the death of Carter showed me back then how fleeting life is. Even though we were on the same track team for three years, the first time I ever talked to him was just a few days before his death.

Second, our class wanted to leave behind our own tribute for Carter. So before we graduated, the school had a red brick enclave and seating area built next to the tree sapling. Behind a metal placard letting the world know what we did is a time capsule where we all placed something meaningful.

I don’t remember what I placed in the time capsule. However, I’m fairly certain I’ll know it when I see it.

For now, every time I go back to visit my high school, I can enjoy the tree growing in Red Square that I got to see originally planted. Meanwhile, my classmates and I revel in the astonished looks in current students’ eyes when they find out the brick seating area that they randomly place their belongings on and jump up and down on is actually a memoriam and time capsule.

inspirationalsad poetry

About the Creator

Stephanie J. Bradberry

I have a passion for literature and anime. And I love everything involving academia, health, metaphysics and entrepreneurship. During my free time I enjoy nature, crocheting, reading, my kiddos, and writing.

Visit me @ stephaniebradberry.com

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (9)

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  • Novel Allen26 days ago

    This is such a cool story. Wish I had made one.

  • So meaningful. A lasting tribute to both loss and the life that endures. Thank you for sharing the back story.

  • Touching lines... very nice Stephanie❤️

  • Cathy holmes30 days ago

    Very nicely done.

  • Great insight❤️🥰

  • Rick Henry Christopherabout a month ago

    Well done and thought provoking.

  • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

    Touching and heartfelt

  • Burn Bookabout a month ago

    There's a rose garden in Vienna where each tree is dedicated to someone. It's actually quite interesting the way we choose to commemorate people.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Amazing poem!!! Your time capsule haiku was awesome!!! The inspiration behind your haiku was touching and heartfelt. Bravo!!!💕💖

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