They planted the frangipani tree the year their son was born.  Both were small and fragile.

He was their first child and weren’t they proud parents, posing for photos beside the young frangipani tree, with their baby boy wrapped in grandma’s hand-crocheted shawl.

It wasn’t long before he was at school, getting up to all the boyhood pranks that give primary school teachers lots of conversation topics for the lunchroom.  And meanwhile, in their backyard, the frangipani was growing into a young tree.

Adolescence causes frustrations, not just for kids, but also for parents. So as their son emerged from being boy to becoming man, the frangipani tree saw their struggle and showered them with its white fragile flowers and delicate aroma. That same year, the tree was ravaged when the neighbour’s goats got loose and fortunately found the frangipani sap not to their liking.

As the years progressed, the frangipani recovered growing in strength and fragrance and now shades the parent’s back porch. These days the elderly couple sit underneath it with their grandchildren and laugh at their dad trying to control his children, as they pick the frangipani flowers.

A child, like the frangipani tree, that’s cared for in its younger years, will eventually produce beautiful flowers even though it may suffer many hardships on the road to maturity.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.

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