There are moments to treasure in life. Often, they seem insignificant. But in retrospect one realizes the depth of their reach into your soul. Mid-November I cut a long-stemmed rose bud from a bush in the yard.
To have a long-stemmed rose survive hard frosts and give forth with a bud ready to blossom in November is a rarity. But the memories it evoked overflowed my heart.
My son, Jimmy, and I were shopping at the mall. It was late November. Jimmy was nine years old with small change in his pocket he had shaken from his piggy bank. Since we rarely went to the mall, the sensory impressions were almost overwhelming--pizza, Christmas lights, music, people.
We passed a flower shop. There were a profusion of fresh long-stemmed roses in water buckets sitting just inside the front windows. Colors of coral, yellow, red, pink and white. Combinations of white and red, pink and coral and more. So many beautiful roses.
“Which do you like best, Mommy?” my son asked.
That was easy to answer. “Red. If a guy I deeply cared for were to give me a red rose, I would love him forever,” I replied.
We moved on to the next shop. I saw inside an item I had been looking for as a Christmas gift for Jimmy. There was a bench facing the shops located between the flower and novelty shop. I asked Jimmy if he would sit on the bench and wait for me for a couple of minutes. “Okay, Mom.” A quick review of not talking to strangers and not wandering off followed. “Okay, Mom.”
There was a short line at the checkout counter and I tried to curb being impatient. I could see my son on the bench looking at me as I tried to keep his gift below the counter so he could not see it. I whispered to the clerk to keep it behind the display on the counter so it would be a surprise for my son who was watching.
When I left the store, Jimmy was gone. He was not on the bench. Trying to curb my panic, I looked both directions and did not see him. I turned in a circle feeling my heart seize in my chest and tears brim my eyes. Suddenly, he appeared.
“Hi, Mom.” Relief, then anger.
“Where did you go? Didn’t I tell you to stay put?”
From behind his back, Jimmy produced a long stemmed red rose and handed it to me. I knelt down and hugged him. “Thank you, Sweetie. But oh Jimmy, how could you afford this?”
“The ladies said I had just the right amount.”
That rose is pressed in a Bible. And yes, son. I will love you forever.
Christmas treasures and happiness to all.
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