Something wonderful happened today! I opened my eyes to see the most beautiful long stem roses staring back at me. They must have stood on my dresser all night long just watching me sleep. I don’t know how they crept into my room or why I didn’t smell them. I can usually detect the scent of my favorite flowers. Funny thing about roses – they can smell so sweet at a wedding, yet so rotted at a funeral. Who gets to decide the fate of a rose? I can only imagine what a difficult decision it must be for a florist. “Rose number one, you’re going in the wedding bouquet; rose number two, you jump in the Mother’s Day bunch and head for the nursing home; rose number three, you’re already a few days old, you get you’re thorns cut off and sit in the shop window hoping for someone to buy you. Rose number two I’m not taking any back talk from you. It’s your mission in life to make someone smile and you better look pretty damn good doing it too!”
Roses can be so alluring; their velvety red skin is an invitation to pick just one petal off that tight huddled cluster. While the long green stems assist in supporting the fragile creatures, the thorns act as a protective shield. Stem and thorn, support and shield; much like parents. I was an over protective parent ¬– heavy on the shield, lacking in the support. Children survive one way or another and when they don’t need you anymore they remove your shield, leaving your lonely petals to decay and your defenseless stem to wither.
My beautiful roses are beginning to bloom, I’m so happy for them! Roses at the peak of life; their heads held high like tall ballerinas standing center stage, wanting to be admired, waiting for the performance to begin – how exiting! Anybody would be proud to stand by them. Who wouldn’t enjoy their natural and delicate aroma? There isn’t a person in the world that would consider it a burden to change their water and maybe even sing to them. I wonder why they were chosen to sit here with me in this tiny room where pictures and old memorabilia occupy every inch of available space? They add grace to my dresser, refurbishing it with elegance. A morning beam of light from the window behind the dresser adorns them with a seductive glow. I wish I could get closer to them, if only to run my index finger in circles of pirouettes around the top of their soft pedals.
Those roses are beginning to brown around the edges; their dainty heads are hanging in shame and their guillotined look is starting to scare me. A few of the petals have already given up and lie at the foot of the vase wondering why they fell so hard. It must have been too painful and monotonous for those poor little pedals to stand perfectly still while the rest of the world was moving on. It could be that they just got old and confused; they probably wanted to get back to the safety of their nurturing cluster but forgot the way. They‘re fallen and lost with no one to guide them; no one can, because you can’t fix a rose. At best you can preserve it, striping away it’s last shred of dignity, giving it false hope. Some of the leaves have decided to drown themselves; contributing to the stench of that green, mucky water – no hope for them. Now all that muckiness mixed with dead leaves will circle and finally clog the drain when Nurse changes the water; she shouldn’t even bother. What’s the point of clogging? Maybe they should just sit in the vase rotting and reflecting. The rose petals will follow, circling and clogging. The roses will get discarded in a final battement, stems bent in a disgraceful demi plié, with or without thorns in arabesque. The performance will never be completed; there will be no applause to drown out their defenseless cries.
“Nurse, don’t forget to change the rose water, my room is starting to smell but I can’t quite figure out what it smells like. On second thought, don’t inconvenience yourself; that strong smell of decay is starting to become familiar. Did I ever call my daughter to thank her for the lovely roses she sent, I can’t remember? My daughter is a florist, a very good one. Did I ever mention that? I can’t seem to find her phone number; I have trouble finding most things these days. Nurse… Nurse, what did you say your name is again? It’s so nice of you to help me. Now, can you please wheel me over to the dresser by the window? I would like to say goodbye to some very dear friends.”