WINTER

'The Lone Rose'

The lone rose sits on the now withered and brown stem. A single scarlet rose in the dismal and small yard. How is it with the coming on of winter this one last scene of summer's gaiety still lingers? This one blood red rose puts me in the mind of you; my dear loved one who planted this bush in the spring twenty-five years ago. A time when we thought that nothing could hurt us and we would always live happily together in our small home, our fortress against a cruel and often cold world. The place that our boy learned to walk and talk; and going back further, the place we first loved one another, where we said the vows that bound us together until death could only separate us. Only death could take us away from each other as its cold grip pulled you from me. You fought long and hard but your illness never did give up and all too quickly you were gone from me and all that is left are the memories. Why am I left to deal with your death? Why do friends say stupid things in hopes of consoling? Nothing will make this right and right now I don't want to feel better I want to sit and look at your rose and remember you on that spring day when you first planted that rose bush. You wanted to plant others, one a year, but life happened and instead of the bower of roses we only had our one bush. This year it missed you, you couldn't tend to it as in past years. I didn't want to get to near it as I don't have a good way with plants, I don't have your loving touch that I and the plants miss now. Today is the day after we placed you in the earth. I thought that yesterday was the hardest day I'd ever had to go through a part of my life is gone and will not be back. I have memories of you; raising our family, good times and not so good times all of those come rushing back to me. There weren't too many bad times but I miss anytime with you.

I'm back here tending your rose bush for you. That one red rose still on there even after frost has claimed all the other plants in our yard, my yard. That rose has some of your spirit in it we will not see it give up but keep hanging on to bring some joy to me when I see it and think of you. While I look at it I feel that you are with me, standing right beside me and holding me close like you did that day twenty-five years ago when you planted it and wanted me to see what you had done. You were so thrilled like a kid in a candy store. This rose is your gift to me, I see that now. You always wanted me to have something that I would remember you by, you always figured that you would go first and I'd be left behind. The hurt is less out here, in this place that I feel closer to you. Funny, in life you could not get me to come into our yard without protest, but here I stand in your "bower". The last rose of the year my gift from you that all will go on. Right now I hurt like I never knew a person could hurt but if the rose is to be believed I will grow and re-learn how to do things alone. Here comes our boy and holding his hand is his boy. They do wonders for me and I can see you when I look at their faces. I used to be concerned with seeing me in him, but now I look and see only you how you were at his age, when we had the entire world and all kinds of time to be together. Let me take this rose inside so I can keep it in the warmth with me; winter is here and it is cold. Farewell cold winter, I have now and always will have my rose.