A Rose

Yesterday was the perfect Michigan “Indian Summer” day.  The leaves are changing color, crunching on the ground as I walked through them. The sun was glistening off the river, and the highs were in the 70’s!  It was glorious!

After having Raymond’s truck and camper on Craigslist for 3 months, with little interest, I decided I needed someone to sell it for me. A guy. Someone, who knows about cars. I talked to Karen and asked her if her son might want to make some money, selling the camper and he said yes. He has a friend who lives right on the highway in town and we took it over there to park it.

Just as we were putting up the “for sale” signs, a man stopped. I introduced myself and he said his name was Ray! I took that as a positive sign. The camper is going to sell. Funny how the universe gives us signs like that.

On the way home, I asked Karen if she wanted to see Raymond’s headstone (which finally came in from the VA). She, of course, said yes. I had put a little angel statue there, in place of his headstone and when the headstone came in I had moved the statue right next to it.

While cleaning my bead/meditation room, I came across four jars labeled: Mom, Dad, Buffy and Annie. In these jars were trimmings of hair from his mother, father and two beloved dogs. I was at a loss wondering what I should do with the hair, which meant so much to Raymond. My sister Debbie told me, “Well you have to do a ceremony and burn it or burry it.”

Robin (my other sister) came out last weekend and we took it to his grave, I dug a little hole and did a ceremony, emptying the hair, one bottle at a time, telling Raymond that he was now buried next to his parents with is loving doggies by his side. Robin and I left in tears, but happy, knowing we did the right thing.

So, yesterday, Karen and I pulled up to his grave. We walked through the crunching leaves and I noticed the most amazing thing!  On the angel statue, next to his headstone, was a beautiful yellow rose. Someone had come to visit Raymond’s grave. It meant so much to me to see that someone else is missing Raymond and is thinking of him. I burst into tears. Someone else went to visit his grave! I am not alone mourning his loss. I was astonished how one little yellow rose could open my eyes and make me understand that I am not the only one grieving and missing him. Somehow, that rose transformed me.

I don’t know who left the rose, but I do know that Raymond was loved and is missed by many. One of his favorite songs to sing was “The Rose” by Bette Midler. The last verse is:

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.

My transformation, is symbolic of these lyrics. It is “my springtime.” I have gone through the long bitter “winter” (this past summer) and I am finally feeling the sunshine return to my life. I am sprouting, slowly, but I am pushing my way through the hard cold dirt, of loss and grief, and finding myself happier. My memories of Raymond are becoming less about when he was sick and I was so tense taking care of him. Now I am remembering the Raymond who was loud, funny and opinionated. The Raymond who complemented me all the time. He made me feel so pretty, so safe and so loved. The Raymond who laughed at me every time I caught a fish. The Raymond who played three chords on his guitar and sang every song with enthusiasm!

I am appreciating his foresight in taking care of me; by signing the trailer over to my name. I feel secure and at home, in this little trailer he so lovingly fixed up. He knew that my life would go on. I am beginning to realize that I probably do have a long life ahead of me and soon, (maybe with the help of an angel named Raymond) I just might bloom into a rose.

About 1lisaa

I've been on a spiritual quest my whole adult life. As a 59 year old retired school teacher and a long time observer of people, life, nature and miracles, I have decided to start a blog. As I began my blog I was a caregiver for my soul mate Raymond who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2011 and it has been quite a journey. Now, I continue this blog with memoirs, insights, and stories about this journey, called life. In this blog, I hope to find clarity and share spiritual lessons along the way. All comments and insights would be appreciated.
This entry was posted in acceptance, caregiver of cancer, death and loss, growth, healing, Life, memoir. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Rose

  1. susy westmoreland says:

    Beautiful!!! Inspiring!!! Insightful!! Healing!!!
    You Are The ROSE.
    Love you,

  2. juliette says:

    Aloha Rosebud! That will be my new nickname for you as I see your beautiful heart and rosebud self unfurl to remembering the amazing, fragrant self that you are. I have known your fragrance for many years and never doubt the beauty and truth that emanates from your rose!

    You have been in my thought and heart for many days, even though I haven’t picked up the phone to say how much I love you. I feel so close to you always, feel your tears, your laughter, your struggle and your victories. I love you beyond words and hold you in your future self, the one that has triumphed through this very intense time called grief.

    With all my love, Juliette

  3. Lisa, Read your latest blog . Strange how things work out. Glad to see your working thru your grief and seeing things in a better light.
    We love you, Aunt Barb and Uncle Rod

  4. Judith Lanphier says:

    YOU are awesome and inspirational

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Sandy says:

    Dear Lisa,
    There is no doubt in my mind that you will bloom again! You truly are very inspirational! Thank you for sharing – you probably have no idea how much you have touched those of us who read your blog. Life is precious and you remind me of that every time that I read your journey. Take care and know that you are in my thoughts & prayers.

  6. Rose Hollandsworth says:

    Lisa, for some reason I was unable to leave a comment on this most beautiful blog. It brought tears to my eyes and at the same time warmed my heart. I feel your healing and am happy for that. You are an amazing young lady. I am grateful to God that he is helping you to move forward. God Bless You. Rose Hollandsworth

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