The Lasting Legacy of a Rose: A Tribute to a Father’s Love & a Mother’s Memory
4 years ago today I walked past this in the store and Daddy whispered to me… “buy that for your momma.” I said “I don’t really have the money for that daddy” I felt an overwhelming sadness as a response.
You can believe what you want, this is one of those times I felt Daddy talking to me after he was gone, all of them that I remember were him asking me to take care of mom for him. Daddy loved Momma. It was probably to an unhealthy extent, so much so that after he died he stuck around waiting on her and watching over her through me. He was always waiting on her.
I bought it, and I called mom she was out gallivanting as she did. I got her to meet me at Dirt Cheap on Olive. I ran into Dollar Tree and got a balloon and some other little things. She was rolling towards me in the parking lot and I brought out this little flower and the other things smiling and said “Momma daddy said I had to buy you another rose bush for Valentine’s Day he wants you to know he still loves you.” She smiled from ear to ear and then bawled. Momma loved Daddy and mourned him until she died.
After giving her this flower I’d go over to her house and I’d see it sitting in the window sometimes it would need water and I’d water it for her, it lived longer than any plant she’d ever kept. When she left us I took it home and watered it and brought it back to life. It remained a symbol of Daddy’s love for Momma, and something I could physically touch and care for in honor of their memory.
I left it along with my other plants with my neighbor when we decided to move to Georgia. I figured I’d come back for it when we bought our next house. Unfortunately slightly after we moved the neighbor’s landlord sold their house and sadly she sold off my plants I’d left with her. I regret leaving this piece of history with her. I didn’t think it would make it through the move and in between and she had a green thumb.
Some of you who knew my mom and dad know this story runs deeper than this. When mom and dad first got together their first Valentine’s day mom said something about aren’t you going to get me flowers and chocolates for valentines day? I never got dad’s side of this story but the impression I was left with was he hadn’t planned on going after valentine’s day presents. They were newlyweds I’m not sure how that played a part but what he did after she pouted was a story that carried on and to me sums up who he was. Dad went down to the local store and bought a few Hershey bars and two rose bushes and brought them home to her and told her she’d always have roses for valentines day now. To me this was the sweetest story, I remember him planting those rose bushes in their own half a whiskey barrel planter and dragging them around with us as we moved. When I was young he always cared for them and cautioned me not to mess with momma’s roses.
This Valentine’s Day I hope he planted her a field of roses in a home that will never get taken from them. I miss them more than I can ever tell you guys. They weren’t the greatest parents but they were the ones I had and I loved them, and I’m sure they loved all of us kids too.
It’s funny how something as simple as a rose bush can hold so much sentimental value and meaning. To some, it may just be a plant, but to me, it represents the love and care that my father had for my mother and his family. It’s a symbol of their enduring love and a reminder that even when they are no longer physically with us, their love still lives on.
As I reflect on this Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness and nostalgia. It’s been years since that fateful day when my father whispered to me from beyond, to buy that rose bush for my mother. Yet, the memory still feels so vivid and real. He remained with me, guiding me and watching over me until she joined him.
To anyone out there who has lost someone they love, I hope this post reminds you that their memory and love can still live on in the little things. It’s up to us to keep their legacy alive and to cherish the memories we have with them.