Sunday, June 07, 2009

Red Roses

May 30 was my father's birthday. It was a sunny, warm day in Wisconsin. I drove up to Madison to sing in a choral concert, and also to play some drums. I also bought three red roses, and one yellow rose, to continue the ritual of remembrance I am doing for my parents.

I am buying roses for them on their birthdays, and the days they died. This memorial ritual will last a year and a day, and then I will decide if I will continue to buy roses again on those days. The memories will be there, regardless.

Yellow was my mother's favorite color, so on her days, I bought yellow roses. Red was my father's favorite color, so I am buying red roses for him. Because they were so joined as one, each time I buy roses on one of these remembrance days, I buy one rose in the other parent's favorite color, to keep with the main bunch bought on that day. I am drying the roses after each remembrance day, and keeping them in a glass bowl on my mantelpiece in the living. The glass bowl was made by an artist friend of mine, who used to blow glass.

Next to the bowl of roses are two tall glass vases, containing the 50 yellow roses my father bought for my mother on their 50th wedding anniversary. Achieving 50 years of wedded life is no small thing, anymore, and is worth celebrating; we made it into a big family party. Afterwards, Mom kept all the roses, and dried them, and kept the rose heads in these two glass vases. When I moved to my new home, and we sold their old home, I kept all the roses. I couldn't bear to part with them.

Roses are a personal favorite among flowers. In my new home, I have planted several new rose bushes in my garden. They are just beginning to bloom, this year. A yellow rose opened just a few days after Dad's birthday. More will follow soon.

It's still hard to write about all of this. I will continue this ritual of remembrance for several more months. We go on, as though everything happened.

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Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

My mother always said we should buy her flowers while she was alive to enjoy them. She wanted, and got, none at her funeral. I can't actually remember buying her flowers. I may have done but she preferred chocolates anyway. My parents were married for over fifty years. I'd have to do the sums but I think they made it to maybe fifty-five, possibly fifty-six. Carrie and I started late. I'll be happy if we reach twenty-five years. It was her birthday last week and I bought her roses, orange and yellow and cream - very summery. It's only the second time I think, she prefers spider-mums.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Dad usually brought Mom something from the garden, rather than buying a flower from the store. Whenever the pink rose bush had a blossom on it, after we had to move her into the Alzheimer's care facility, Dad cut the blossom and took it to her. I transplanted that rose bush, and I'm glad I still have it, now. It looks like it will bloom, too, a little later this year.

I freely admit that I love roses, as roses, probably more than either Mom or Dad did. But they did like them, and there is some connection ad symbolism of them there. That's why I'm doing the ritual this way. Maybe next year I'll be able to cut my own roses from my bushes, rather than buy them, too. Who knows.

12:38 AM  

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