Often she would say to me, dig out the rose bushes and put them in your yard; I do not want them. I, of course, wanted Betty to enjoy the roses and experience the beauty of living things the same way I did, so I always refused her offer.
What I did not realize at the time was Betty was pushing away the joy I wanted her to experience. A great lesson to learn in life is sometimes we want things for others more than they want them for themselves.
The roses that grew in Betty's garden were a deep radiant red and their fragrance was strong and vibrant. As I look back now, I can see that Betty loved calling me
and asking me to come over because that marked a special time when we shared our friendship together. I often wanted to put some of the cut roses in her home but she always refused. She never wanted them in the house. That fact always saddened me, yet her gift to me was her roses and I must admit they did bring me great joy. On several occasions she asked me to dig up the rose bushes and bring them home but I always refused, until one day I arrived at her home and the bushes were gone. I rushed into her house and confronted her. I was appalled that she would destroy them but that is exactly what happened. It turns out that her daughter suggested that Betty get rid of them because they were old plants. My heart was crushed; maybe the bushes were old but they produced numerous blossoms that were alive and regal.
As happens frequently in life, I found myself believing that Betty needed to be surrounded by beauty only to discover and realize that she actually chose to reject the gift. Because I find nature and its bounty necessary to feed my soul, I assumed that she, too, would cherish the same thing but I was wrong.
When I returned home and shared what happened with my daughter, she, too, was upset and bewildered. The fact that Betty had her gardener throw out the rose bushes was devastating to both of us. My daughter suggested we go to our local nursery and buy some roses that would fill the void but we were unable to find anything that had the fragrance of Betty's roses.
Then something magical happened; back in Betty's garden, new shoots of roses started to appear in the barren garden. Interesting indeed life is funny; just when you think one chapter is over, you are surprised to discover otherwise. In this instance, nature proves that we really do not die we simply take on a new form.
The roses were back. Of course that were tiny and very young plants but nonetheless, there were still alive and have given me a second change on owning them. When I told Betty that they started to grow again, she said: "Take all that you want." With bucket in hand, my garden gloves and a shovel, my daughter and I dug up many of the seedlings and re-potted them in our yard. It turned out that the roots were quite deep and difficult to get out. So that even though Betty had the desire to destroy a thing of beauty, beauty won.
This story that I just shared with you has many life lessons in it for me and maybe you will discover one for you too. Betty wanted to give me a gift and at first I refused to accept the gift, I neglected to follow the clue. I was given a second chance to enjoy and cherish those beautiful roses and this time, I jumped at the chance. I can say with joy in my heart that I now have four beautiful rose plants that are growing strong and tall and I look forward to the gift of enjoying their booms for a long time to come. It has been a gift from Betty to me.
The mystique of my red roses will be a source of inspiration and gratitude that I will continue to cherish for a long time.