Flower of the Day – May 28, 2012
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
‘Dad’s Rose,‘ Hillsboro, Oregon
This rose serves as a remembrance to those individuals who have passed away. Today, walking through the Sunday Market and afterward, I spotted the above rose. It spoke to me immediately. Not literally of course, but figuratively. Seeing this rose and one very similar a week or so back, is rare, especially ones as rare as these. Or at least when my father was around, the varietal used to be rare. My point – the rose spoke to me. I listened. I always pay attention to the signs. This particular one, reminded me of my Dad. There was a reason I saw it today, it was to serve as a remembrance, a memorial, if you will, for all who have passed including, my Dad.
As a child growing up our yard was immaculate. My Dad’s passion besides his family was his yard and his hundred or so prized roses; truly, all of his roses had won awards. It was his hobby. And having the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood was his thing. I often think he secretly competed with our neighbors behind us, and across the cul-de-sac. These three yards were definitely the three stars in our neighborhood.
My father took pride in his roses; this rose above, was nearly a dead ringer for his favorite. I believe he loved it, not only for its beauty but for its complexity. It contains many colors and shades of colors and intricate combinations of color. A truly rare gem for any garden. This rose takes first prize over the granddaddy of them all – the deep dark crimson colored beauty the red rose. So, you see, it seemed only fitting to have this particular peach colored rose serve as the flower of the day. I recognize I previously published one very similar to this one a few weeks back; this is a different rose, captured from an entirely different area, today. It brought back memories, and I thought of him all day. It was if he was with me.
While my father remains in my heart always, he has been gone now since 1985, three years before his last grandchild – Ashley would be born. Far too early for a man who had retired five years before, and looked forward to living and spending his retirement with his family, traveling with my mom, and enjoying his grandchildren; one in particular, my eldest son, Ryan. Ryan was the apple of my father’s eye. The two – inseparable. To this day, my son remembers many of the special times my father and he spent together, even though he was only four at the time. My son is gifted.(A story for another day.) My father had just turned 59, passing too young, when pancreatic and liver cancer destroyed his body. Two weeks were all we had from the time he was diagnosed till the day he passed. Far too young and all too soon. It was a difficult time for anyone who knew him as everyone loved my Dad. He was a great man who has been missed by all who had the honor of knowing him. He was one of those types of people you loved from the moment you met them.
I lost him far too soon as he never had the opportunity to meet his third grandchild, Ashley or spent enough time with my middle daughter, Stephanie. He never had the opportunity to meet his five great grand kids (two from my son’s marriage, and three from my daughter Stephanie’s marriage), or meet the man who would eventually replace my children’s dads, ( I happily and rapidly kicked their sorry asses to the curb not long after my father passed. Let’s say I came to my senses and leave it at that.). I remained single until finding my soul mate for whom I know in my heart my Dad would have loved him as much as I do.
My father was and continues to be missed by me, my mother who never got over losing him and remarried. She remained a young widow, who never found anyone as wonderful to replace the man who was the love of her life. How can you replace someone who is one’s soul mate? The answer is simple – you can’t. You merely persevere. It took me roughly twenty-five years for me to allow myself to love someone again, when I met my soul mate – Lloyd. And sadly, I will be the one who leaves him a widower too soon. Let’s hope those doctor’s made a grave error. I wish that each day.
So from me, to my Dad; to my poppy (a man nearly as wonderful as my Dad, whom I considered my second father. He was my best friends (Cindy) dad, who passed two years ago); to my husband who lost his mother a few years ago to cancer; to a good friend of mine I have known since grade school, who lost her husband earlier this year from melanoma, far too soon. He left behind two high school aged children anda wonderful wife, my friend Karen, of 30 years, married ironically the same number of years my mom and dad were married; and to all of those who have lost a loved one – this rose is for you, this rose is for them.