Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thorns & Hope

I've gotten so mushy and sentimental lately.  It really is not like me to be this way, and I'm having a hard time adjusting.  Wondering if this is just the way that I will forever be, or if it's just a temporary phase of ridiculousness. 

A few months ago, all of a sudden I decided that I was going to do something.  I was going to replace the rosebushes that had died in the yard.  When we landscaped, I planted 6 bare root rosebushes, and 4 of them took.  One tried for a year or so to grow, and that last one never bothered.  I'd never gotten around to replacing them. 

Until a few months ago.

I was walking through the outdoor garden section one day, not even intending to look at the roses, when it happened.  I was buying two rosebushes.   That's all there was to it.  I was buying two rosebushes.  Two specific rosebushes. 

Yellow for my Uncle Donnie, my Father's oldest brother.  It's been so long now that he's been gone, since he was stolen from our family that morning.  The other driver, young and irresponsible, high and drunk.  She lived.  He didn't.  It's not fair, this life we are given. 

After his funeral all those years ago, I did something that I've never told anyone about.  I stopped in at a florist, bought a single yellow rose.  I sat on the corner where the accident happened and cried for probably an hour.  I left that rose there for him. 

Red for my Father.  He loved roses.  He always bought red roses for every occasion.  When I was a little girl, he planted a bunch of carefully pruned rose trees, only to have the dog dig them up.  I don't know if he was more upset that the dog had wasted all that money or that his prized roses were ruined. 

When he'd come out here to visit, I'd always find him out wandering the yard, admiring my roses. He would laugh and tell me the yard was missing something, I needed a red one.

I bought and planted those rosebushes a while back now.  New roses always make me a bit nervous.  They tend to be so fickle.  After a few hailstorms and some crazy windstorms, after months of unseasonably cold weather, I started to fear that they weren't taking.  The established bushes had new areas of growth and had made it through winter.  The news ones sat there, doing nothing.

Finally about two weeks ago, Dad's showed the tiniest spot of new growth.  The first shoots.  It was going to be okay.

Uncle Donnie's sat there still, with nothing growing.

I stopped going out to check on the roses every day.  It was too hard to watch his sitting there, doing nothing.  I couldn't stand the thought of having to dig it up and replace it.  This one was his rosebush.

Until last weekend.

Saturday night, I went out there again, hoping.  I got out the rose food and the watering can, started pulling the weeds.  I got to Uncle Donnie's rosebush and saw this.
The rosebush made it.

The following day, I found out that our family had grown by two the day before.  A baby girl and a baby boy had entered the world, the same day that Uncle Donnie's roses decided to take.  The twins, his grandchildren.

I learned a long time ago not to question the times when fate intervenes.  Coincidences aren't just that.

This is a sign.
My Dad, in the middle.  Donnie second from the right, next to Grandma.

Dad is still with us.  Donnie is too.

Life. Goes. On.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog, read this, and now I'm in tears. What a terrific story! I love keeping roses, too (there's something cathartic about dead-heading them, ha) and I'm so glad to hear that your new bushes seem to be taking.

    What a wonderful tribute to your family!


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