Monday, March 20, 2017

The Story Of A Rose

We arrived home on Sunday afternoon after spending a long twelve days on the road, driving 1400 miles (2253 km) round trip. Most of that time was spent with my mother who is working to regain some of her lucidity. She did remember me some of the time, but not always. I could tell when she really did remember me by the way she said my name. It was spoken with such warmth and love, it was like a song from her lips. I never minded when she didn't remember me though, because I always remembered why we were there, and that was to give her as much love, support and care as we could.

On the first day when we were at my sister's I noticed all the rose bushes she had. There was one out in the front yard that was particularly lovely. It produced the most beautiful multi-colored  flowers. So, I decided I would clip an almost-opened bud to bring to my mother. She always grew roses in our yard when I was growing up. She is a huge fan of such beauty. So I put the bud into a small empty plastic water bottle my mom had in her room. There it stood on the edge of her dresser like a promise of springtime. Then it blossomed into something breathtaking. I looked at that rose and thought, I'm going to take that rose back with me to the beach house when we head back north, and I'm going to toss it into the bay where my dad's ashes were scattered so many years ago. Roger and I have tossed flowers into that water in my father's memory many, many times. But never a flower that had bloomed in his beloved wife's room.
So, I picked a new rosebud for my mom's bedroom and brought it to her. Then, I took the blossoming rose back to my sister's, packed it carefully and we drove it 350 miles north to Capitola, to the beach house and bay. Our car has this wonderful little space for holding containers, and we thought the rose looked grand there on the trip.
After we unpacked the car, we walked down to the wharf and tossed this little rose into the bay. We said our love out loud to my father and told him how much my mother still loves him, when she remembers. And then we watched the wind and waves carry that beautiful rose out to sea.
If you click on the photo, you might catch a glimpse of the tiny red rose in the deep blue sea of love.

36 comments:

  1. Exquisite are the rituals of love https://youtu.be/4T3C2TPnVOI

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    1. MandT-- Love that song. Thank you for that. Exquisite are the rituals...

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  2. The deep, abiding love for your parents has a voice of its own; it speaks with a clarity and richness that I seldom hear, and that is a wonderful thing to behold.

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    1. JS-- Such kind words, John. Thank you for that. My siblings and I love our parents with such heartfelt devotion. Always always will.

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  3. What a beautiful tribute.

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  4. Oh, I see it! Really a nice tribute to their love.

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    1. Colette-- I'm so glad you could see the rose. Thank you for that.

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  5. Robin, your devotion and love are so evident and heart warming. Your mom and dad definitely did a lot right in the parenting department! I loved finding the rose floating in the wide, blue sea in that last shot. Hope you will be lazy and rest this week. That is a long drive and one filled with a variety of emotions, I imagine. I am glad your mom remembered you at times - for both of you! I have been missing my mother a lot lately. Just want to talk to her again. <3

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    1. Sky-- We plan on being lazy the rest of the week. Hard not to with the rain rain and more rain. When my dad died I started keeping a journal. Each page began: Dear Dad. I have now been writing to him for 25 years. It's a way of keeping the conversation going.

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    2. What a great idea, Robin!!

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  6. Beautiful flower, beautiful sentiment.

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  7. Nice you had a rose to remember your mother and drop in the Ocean for your father. Shame you mother has lost her memory like that. I have just planted a few roses on our patio and my wife has some cuttings growing. Maybe you should have taken a cutting as well of that rose, you could have grown more.

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    1. Bill-- I love the idea of taking a cutting of that rose. I wish I had thought of it when we were there. Next time!

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    2. Needs to be about 6-8 inches long

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  8. What a beautiful post Robin. So glad you were able to spend this time with your Mom.
    When my Dad passed away my Mum gave us each a small envelope containing my Dad's ashes. Recently I have been thinking that I would like to scatter them at the lake that my Dad and I walked to throughout my childhood. I love the way you honoured both your Mom and Dad with the rose.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Cat Lover-- I hope you do scatter your Dad's ashes at that lake. It's such a wonderful thing to do, and he'll always be there...in a place you both loved. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. What a moving and beautiful post, Robin, filled with love and devotion. And the last photograph sums it up so well. Take care and rest after your journey.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- Yes, that last photograph was it for me too. It says it all. Really glad you liked the post.

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  10. ... the tiny red rose in the deep blue sea of love.

    It's another cold spring day here with grey skies. So heartening to see that rose and the sunlight sparkling on the ocean and to think about the lasting love between your mother and father and about your love for them.

    This year, on the 14th anniversary of my father's death on St. Patrick's Day, the coast redwood seedling that I had ordered was in my mailbox. Astounding to think that it could live for thousands of years. Along with the ocean, coast redwood trees symbolize for me a deep lasting love.

    So much love here and now. Thank you!

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    1. am-- We had lovely blue skies on most of the trip. It really helped to balance the saddest parts. I love that you are planting a coast redwood. What a wonderful way to celebrate your father with a tree that could live for almost ever! Thank you for your kind words.

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  11. Extraordinary post: Beautiful, moving, deeply meaningful. I like the way the photo sequence moves from very close to farther and farther away, each step away from the rose extending the view of the breadth of your love.

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    1. CCorax-- Thank you seeing that rose so close and so far, and sensing the breadth of love. I appreciate that so much.

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  12. What a beautiful post and gesture robin with that beautiful rose. For a moment, you let them come together once more.
    So glad your visit had periods of recognition. We visit those who may not remember for we remember them and all they mean to us. That doesn't change.

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    1. Patti-- Oh what a wonderful way to describe it, that they were together once more. Yes. We are learning the ways of dementia and alzheimer's, and what it means to us to remember even when they forget. As you say, that doesn't change.

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  13. This is so beautiful! The story and the feelings and that gorgeous rose.
    We bought a rosebush just like it in Italy last summer and I just went outside to check and can see the first tiny buds.

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    1. Sabine-- Thank you for your kind words. I love knowing that you have a rosebush just like this one. I hope you'll photograph it when it is blooming and post a photo on your blog. We'll spread the love around the world, my friend!

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  14. Your words are pure love "poetry" to my ears. Tugs at the heart. I certainly like your style of honoring, and I agree with others here, your parents definitely grew a special crop of loving and devoted adults. Now it's time for mind and body rest. Kim in PA

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    1. KimS-- Thank you for your thoughtful comment. My siblings and I do like to honor our parents. They raised four rambunctious kids in the 60s, watched us march against the VietNam war; go to Woodstock; and then build our own cabins in the "back to the land" movement. They never stopped supporting our dreams. Such love lasts a lifetime.

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  15. It's a touching tribute.

    I've had to deal with my reactions and response to my own parents' deaths. Both were cremated, so there is really no physical remnant of either, and yet they still seem present in some way. I think of it kind of like a fossil, or maybe a petrified tree. The original living thing is gone, but its existence left a solid impression in the world. My parents left their impression in my mind and memories which seems to keep them present in some ways. I don't know whether that explains how it seems, but it's the best I can do.

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    1. Mark-- I love the idea of fossils or petrified trees. It's a wonderful way to hold love, a kind of solid permanence in the world. I will always remember this.

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  16. I cannot believe I missed this moving and exquisite post. What a beauty, in all ways.

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    1. Tara-- Thank you for your kind words. I will always remember when you tossed flowers in the bay for my dad, when we couldn't be there. Love lasts forever.

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