A Tiny Rosebush

86th BirthdayI was in the grocery checkout line picking up some last-minute items for dinner.  It was Sunday and our first weekend of skiing and trying out our new seasonal rental was coming to a close.  I was tired, but feeling good with all of the fresh air and renewed friendship that had transpired over the past two days.  As I was piling my items onto the belt something to my right caught my eye.  I turned and there in front of me were miniature rosebushes, the kind you see this time of year in the stores.  In that instant my mood fell and I began to cry.  Not big sobs but my eyes welled with tears.

A tiny rosebush, similar to this one, was the last gift my sister Roxann and I gave to our mother before she passed away last February.  A small token meant to provide comfort and perhaps help guide her way to heaven.  At least that was a tale we had heard.

When my mother died, I was more than ready for her to leave this earth.  She had been struggling with dementia for years and had spent the last six of them either living with me or near me.  During those years I was the one who watched, almost daily, as she slid into dementia.  Consequently, I knew she was ready and most of her children agreed, that her struggle with this life should end.  After she passed and the initial exhilaration of having more free time ran out, I found myself grieving for the mother I once knew.  I grieved for the mother who taught me to cook as I stood in a chair in the kitchen stirring tomato soup.  I grieved for the mother who found her calling working with students as a teacher and counselor.  I grieved for the mother I had hoped I would connect more with me as an adult, but we never quite got there.

Grief is a funny thing.  You can be enjoying yourself and the next moment, because of a song, or a scent or a rosebush, your mood changes and you find yourself sad and crying.  Causing those around you to worry and question what has just happened.  These moments also make me, at least, realize I am not doing as well as I thought; that my recovery over the loss of my mother will continue to take time.  Memories remain with us for our lifetime, both the good and the bad. But, I hope, with time, my sadness will wane and my memories will become more of gladness as I remember the special moments my mother shared with me.


11 thoughts on “A Tiny Rosebush

  1. Thanks for sharing this, dear sistuh of my heart, and thanks for being the one to be there for Mom during the final days of her life journey. I love this photo of you and Mom. I was just looking at photos this morning of you and Mom when she made her move into her final home. I want to get a red rose bush to remember her by. She loved red roses. Know that you and Rocky helped Mom make her final transition into eternal love just like she asked you to do. Remember to be gentle with yourself. Love, Rhonda

  2. Right there with you sistuh! Rosebushes, songs, photos can me make me cry making me realize how much I miss mom and dad. Grief is a strange animal! Think I’m doing fine but really still on the struggle bus. It’s a process. There is joy ahead however! Hang in there. I thank God every day that I have you to talk to!
    Love ya,

  3. A certain scent does this to me re: my Dad now 25+ yrs later. Never frightening & now less sad, it actually brings me a feeling that he is strongly with me @ that moment for a reason, which is a comfort. Beautifully written.

  4. I have lost both parents as well as other beloved family members and I can agree with you that grief is like a thief in the night. One minute you are fine and the next you are in near physical pain from it.

    I think I went around 18 months after my father died before I felt fully confident in my mental state. I felt like I had been it in the head with a baseball bat and nothing fit where it should in my personal frame of reference.

    Lastly, having spoken with others about this, I have concluded that grief is very personal. Everyone’s grief is their own. Others can only see it from the outside. Just remember, it’s one day at a time. You never forget or stop loving the person, but the pain lessens. Good luck!


  5. Perfect, Posey. Years and years later, I am still caught off-guard by this or that triggering a sharp memory. Sometimes I smile and sometimes I cry, but I am always thankful for the instance of remembering. And grateful for your writing and for you.

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