When Mary Loudin sits in her recliner and looks out her front window, she sometimes struggles to see the world around her.
The Seymour resident suffers from a condition that affects her vision and will eventually cause her to go blind. She was diagnosed about a year ago.
“There’s nothing they can do about it,” she said.
But one thing she can see at a distance is a towering tree, or to be more accurate, a tree trunk, across from her residence on Dutchman Lane, where she has lived for 31 years.
Loudin, 74, has watched the tree for a long time and witnessed it come back to life, she said. It gives her something to focus on and is a source of hope and strength.
That’s because the tree, like Loudin, has overcome obstacles and continues to thrive against all odds.
Some time ago, the tree was struck by lightning and charred. Loudin believes it was never cut down because it sits on a property line and no one really knows who it belongs to, she said.
“It was black,” she said. “It was stark.”
Just as the tree gives her encouragement, she tries to relay positivity to it.
“I kind of talk to it, you know, and said, ‘Come on,’ but I wasn’t just talking to the tree. I was talking to myself,” she said.
Now, the tree has new leaves and growth.
“I’ve just been watching it, and I got excited when the foliage started coming back in,” she said. “I call it my tree of life. I’ve enjoyed it.”
Loudin said another thing she likes about the tree is she sees a letter “K” formed by the branches. Being a fan of University of Kentucky basketball, it’s especially meaningful to her, she said.
Her son lived in Kentucky for a while and brought his love of the Kentucky Wildcats back with him and shared it with her.
Loudin is confident the tree will be restored completely one day, just as she knows she still has a lot of living left to do.
“I have faith,” she said.