The Little Tree served us well for about ten years, following us from Elmhurst to Hickory Hills to Skokie to Lincolnwood to Waukegan. It got damaged a bit every time we moved, and occasionally in between, and I repaired it, but the cumulative damage took its toll, and eventually we stopped using it. For a while we hung lights and tinsel (Dementia MUST have tinsel) on the Japanese sword set that normally lives on top of the TV (where the tree has always gone, come the season), but then Dementia found a wire tree that was a bit smaller than the Little Tree, and it has served the purpose since then.
The Little Tree continued to hang from the ceiling in the basement, getting gradually shabbier and shabbier; bits would break off, and we would save them with no particular end in mind. Yesterday, after we opened our gifts, we built a fire in the fireplace around the Little Tree and all of its broken bits, and said our goodbyes.
Today, all that is left is some ash, and a scar on my left hand.