than the risk it took to blossom.
I would like to begin my May Flowers Tribute by thanking Roxana, a talented and intelligent woman who is beautiful both inside and out. Roxana, dear friend, I’m so honored and grateful that you invited me to join this wonderful collective blog tribute. Thank you.
I had originally planned a completely different post for this tribute, but life took a dramatic turn recently, and I decided to make this post far more personal.
I chose the rose as my flower. Why the rose? I have a very simple reason, I chose the rose for love. The love of my husband, Ron, and the history of us. The history of the rose is long and well documented. I could tell you it’s many historical and present day meanings, but I would rather tell you its meaning for me. This is a tribute to both the rose and my relationship with my husband.
A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.
This week, I realized with crystal clarity that the rose has been symbolic in our life together. In what way? Let me count the ways...
Ron sent a dozen red roses to me the day after our first date.
My wedding bouquet, his boutineer, and our wedding cake decorations were
And finally, when we bought our first home together, the home we live in today, Ron planted a rose bush. He’s planted one for each year we’ve been living in our home. We now have 13 rose bushes along one side of our backyard. It’s become a beautiful and symbolic rose garden.
There are many quotes about roses. To me, they are lovely sentiments, and some are even rich with messages of how to live your life:
Won't you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.
I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.
If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I'd be picking roses for a lifetime.
This last sentiment, stop and smell the roses, is a cliché that is easily cast aside. For me it’s extremely significant and from now on, an important part of my life. Far more so than ever before. That cliché is what made me rewrite my May Flowers tribute. I wanted you to understand its immense message. Those five words are words to live by.
Nine days ago, we came horrifyingly close to losing my husband. If he had been on one of his frequent international flights, or in a far off country as he is so often, he most likely would not be with us today. The idea of which scares me so much I have to push it out of my mind. As it happened, he was home and we were able to get immediate medical help. He is recovering more each day and we’re confident he’ll have a full recovery in 6 weeks. My husband is young, athletic, fit and eats a very healthy diet. Yet I almost lost him.
Now, each day, there are so many moments when he does a little thing…hugs our boy, cracks a lame joke, holds my hand…a hundred little things…and I think, this moment is a gift. The thought that nine days ago it came very, very close to being an entirely different, tragic reality causes a physical ache in me. Something so painful to think about that I barely let it reach my thoughts before I force it from my mind. A ghost of a nightmare that never was.
The impact of this incident was such a complete shock. It took me three days for it to sink in, and it's still sinking in. It has forever changed the way I look at life. The realization I came to is this. Life is delicate and precious. It’s the ultimate gift. Live each day as if it were your last. Appreciate and enjoy your loved ones. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Take time every single day to experience and reflect. Be good to yourself. All of these clichés sound familiar, right? I’ve said or thought them a thousand times. Until I was faced with the very real possibility of losing Ron, their meaning was abstract.
Dearest friends, if you only take one thing away with you from this post, let it be a daily reminder to stop and smell the roses. Write it on a slip of paper and put it where you’ll see it each and every day…In a world filled with shades of gray; this is one true black and white.