Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Rose that Bloomed for Mama

The day before Mama's funeral, I had driven down to Daddy's to help straighten and clean the house and to greet visitors dropping by offering sympathy to our family and generous gifts of food. There wasn't a lot to do since my sisters-in-law had already done most of the cleaning by the time I arrived. Daddy, my brothers and my sister had gone to finalize arrangements for the next day's services, so it was just the four of us there working, stopping for an occasional embrace and to wipe away a steady flow of tears. That house is all about Mama. Memories of her are everywhere....

I was expecting a friend of mine to come by with dinner for family members staying with Daddy. Instead of just the one friend, two friends arrived with a trunk full of food and fresh cut flowers for the table. We unloaded the car and made our way inside the house. I introduced my friends to my sisters-in-law, we all talked for a while, then I walked my friends back out to the car.

As we were standing outside, I noticed a red rose that was in full bloom on the bush nearest the driveway. It took my breath away for a second or two. I thought maybe there might be more blooms on the other bushes as well, so I excused myself and walked around the house looking at all the rose bushes in the yard. It was the only rose, and it was beautiful!

One of my friends took out her phone (one with a camera), got down on the ground as close to the rose as she could, snapped a couple of pictures of it, and told me she would email them to me from her home. Within the next day or so, I had crystal clear images of Mama's rose. I have a print of it on my refrigerator. I swear when I get close enough to that picture, I can almost smell its fragrance drifting past me. I close my eyes and imagine Mama sitting in front of me asking me to come closer so I can press my nose to its petals and savor it's sweet perfume. Oh, how she loved everything about roses! But, her favorite were the red ones.

I like to think that the rose flourishing before my eyes was a gift to those of us who stopped to admire it and remember. I call it the rose that bloomed for Mama, but maybe more accurately, it was a gentle reminder to take time to enjoy the beautifully simple things in life, before they slip away.

Love and miss my sweet Mama....

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