Friday, January 10, 2020

When the blush is off the rose.

Yesterday would have been my mother's 95th birthday. It's hard to believe that on the 13th of next month she will have been gone two years. It seems like yesterday that we were experiencing life together, sharing memories, taking meandering drives, and watching classic movies. Shopping trips were a challenge, but fun. 

While moving Mom to Ashley Manor, her last home, I found a rose pressed between the pages of her Bible. It was part of a bouquet she'd received on her 90th birthday. The blush was off the rose, only a shadow of its former beauty remained. I held it to my nose, and the fragrance still lingered. Memories of Mom's birthday and whispers of the past swept in like an ocean wave.

I wish I still had that rose. Yes, it was just a flower, but it stood for so much more. In her final days, Mom was like that rose ... the blush was definitely off, but she was still lovely - the essence of who she was seemed to grow more beautiful with each passing day. 

I look back through the years and as my mind flits through her life I am reminded of how she continued to bloom. She wasn't one of those loud, vibrant flowers, she was more subtle, quietly changing and maturing, the fragrance of her inner spirit growing sweeter with the passage of time.

When Mom was entering her 70's I remember her saying more than once, "I look in a mirror and wonder where that old woman came from." She'd chuckle, but I wondered what that would be like. Now I know. I am the one looking in a mirror and wondering where the old woman looking back at me came from. I admit that I don't like the image, but when I think of my mother and the rose pressed between the pages of her Bible I am reminded that a transformation is happening and yet, the essence of who I am is still vibrant and blooming.

It takes years to mature. Some people never have the privilege of experiencing a long life and so as I approach my 68th birthday I know I am blessed to see an old woman in my mirror. I pray the fragrance of who I am will be all about the Lord and His love for me. I am blooming still, only because of Him. 

As each day passes may I remain thankful. Even though my body grows old may my heart become more tender and my spirit more fragrant.

Thank you, Mom, for being a living example of graciousness and beauty.

Grace and peace to you from God,