Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Unexpectedly grateful heart part 5

Some years ago, my cousin gave me a stem in a black plastic pot for Christmas. I thought, "What in the world is this?" Much to my surprise, it turned out to be something wonderful. It was a rooted cutting from my grandaddy's rose. It was a special rose that he really wanted, but times were hard and finances were tight, so he wouldn't spend the money to purchase it. My aunt ended up buying it for him and he cherished that climbing red rose. Somewhere along the way, my aunt had taken a cutting, rooted it, and had grown a lovely rose of her own. I'd always admired her rose, but never realized exactly what a treasure it was. My cousin had done the same thing for me.

I was intrigued, but a little skeptical. My grandaddy had been dead for fifty years. I was very young when he died, so I didn't really remember him. It was hard to believe I could grow his rose, but I planted it at the entrance to my herb garden, next to a little arbor. I was surprised when the climbing stem began to grow. I was stunned when the roses began to blossom!  The branches were loaded with deep red blooms that exuded the most remarkable fragrance.  

It's an odd rose, though. Sometimes it blooms at the most unusual times, rather than when I expect it. Earlier this week, I headed to the barn and a flash of red caught my eye. The rose was blooming, and once again I was overwhelmed by the connection from one generation to the next. This rose connects three generations of my family in the most unusual way. My grandaddy and my aunt are gone, but their rose reminds me of them in the sweetest way. 

That rose also teaches me some important lessons about my family. We sacrifice for one another. Times were as hard for my aunt as for my grandaddy, but she made a way. In my family, we love the outdoors, working with our hands, and gardening. We accept responsibility for each other. It's a big job to protect and care for that rose, but if we don't do it, there won't be a rose for my grandchildren. We don't mind thorns because they always come with roses. It's a lesson that's served me well in life. In my family, we share. It took some effort to root that rose for me, but that's what we do. 

I've already started trying to root the rose. I'm pretty sure my grandaddy would want the next generation to have it too. One day, I hope to give green stems in black plastic pots of my own. Until then, I'm grateful to be the custodian of my family's rose.