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"His Life Stood Out Amongst His Peers"

On November 8, I decided to grab my camera and somehow capture the beauty of the colors I saw in front of our home. With the cold air swaying the trees back and forth, I found myself appreciating the beauty of my surroundings.

When I was born, my grandfather purchased a small Japanese Maple tree and planted it directly in front of our home. According to my grandfather, it was meant to be a reminder of my birth. When it was planted in the ground, it was quite small. Today it graces a good part of our front yard. Perhaps its most striking features are the beautiful, red leaves. They're so vibrant, so rich and captivating and, it stands out amongst the larger trees surrounding it. The tree actually reminds me of my father's life.

Just like the colors of a tree's leaves set it apart from the rest of it's features, so was my father's life. His vibrancy set him apart from most other men and his ability to connect with people seemed second nature. Always wanting to "reach out" before ever "reaching in," his words were rich with encouragement.

This tree has weathered many storms, many cold winters, and several hot summers, yet it still stands tall. My father experienced many challenges and successes during his lifetime, and even though he is no longer physically with us, his "leaves" still radiate our hearts. His life still stands as a reminder that one life can truly make a difference.

- Justin