August 3, 1999.
Sometime between 4 and 5 pm, my brother knocked on the door.
“The tree is gone.”
It had been chopped down without warning during the day. We went out onto the deck and looked onto the empty space that leaves and branches had once occupied.
Comments were exchanged about the lifeless wasteland our street had become without the tree. How it felt that life had stopped and abruptly shifted while we remained unaware, inside.
At 10 pm we got the call. My brother and I had been milling about in the junction between rooms talking. I watched in slow motion as his knees buckled and fell. I grasped the doorframe for support and slid down to the floor. We cried.