That tree stood for so long that we thought he was indestructible. And that Daddy Dwight, though bed ridden when I was in my mid twenties, was destined to be with us forever. I will never forget that he held my first born son in his arms as lovingly as that big old tree of his held the birds nests in his gnarly boughs. That when my boys were two and three, although he couldn't sit up anymore, he motioned for them to come to him and stroked their little heads with love shining in his eyes amidst the tears.
Daddy Dwight passed away a year or so later. On the night he died,the big old Pine breathed his last and fell across the dirt road adjacent to the highway, humbled and brought low. After Daddy Dwight's funeral, someone had the foresight to cut slices from the big old tree, and mark them as Daddy Dwight's tree and each grandchild received one in memory of both Daddy Dwight and his tree.
So there I was, traveling down Angelus Road and this load of pines had me weepy. It was like receiving a hug from my grandfather, those memories evoked by a log truck traveling slowly through the forest of the Sand Hills.