“A rose is a rose is a rose.” This is from a poem Gertrude Stein wrote in 1913. Supposedly it means that things are what they are when all is said is done. To me it always sounded like it meant that all roses are just that…simply put, just a rose. I want to tell you about one rose that is more than just a rose, to me anyway.
I went for a mammogram in January which was one year since my previous one when my breast cancer was first detected. Upon completion I was handed a rose. After all, it is the least they can do for you after what they put you through! I had my mammogram early in the morning before work. The rose sat in my car all day. It had a little tube of water attached to the bottom of the stem. The rose did not look especially beautiful. It was still a bud but looked like possibly it was leftover from the day before’s supply. I was one of the first patients of the day and perhaps the new batch had not yet arrived for the day.
At the end of the day I arrived home and popped the rose in a vase with some water. Over the next week I enjoyed seeing it bloom and enjoyed it’s beauty. At the end of one week I suggested to my photographic son that he use it to shoot and practice with before the petals started falling off. One of those pictures is on a recent post. After two weeks the rose was still in bloom and hadn’t lost any petals. After three weeks one leaf on the stem dried up and fell off but it still hasn’t lost any petals and still looks beautiful!
With Valentine’s day coming I happened to watch a video recently on how to keep your roses looking fresh and nice. They suggested making a fresh cut at the bottom of each stem. I hadn’t. They said to use a very clean vase free of any bacteria. I used a dusty old one I didn’t even rinse out. They said to add the packet of food to the water in the vase. It came with no packet. They said to change the water every 2-3 days. I haven’t changed the water once, in fact I haven’t even added any more water to it. They said to keep it in a spot that is not in direct sunlight. It has been sitting in direct sunlight on my table since the first day. It is such a sunny spot that my elderly cat likes to lie there in the sun to keep warm.
I have no green thumb. I don’t even have any live plants in my house. Anytime I received roses in the past they would bloom quickly and then the petals would fall off. Sometimes they don’t even open up all the way. Often they droop at the top of the stem and hang their heads.
This rose is still standing straight and tall and beautiful. It’s almost like it has refused to give in or die. I LOVE the fact that this is the rose I was given for a mammogram that yielded results marked NORMAL! It is a survivor and so am I! I have seen God’s hand through this whole cancer journey and felt that it was very fitting that He gave me such a beautiful sign of survivorship. I think He is also reminding me to keep on blooming despite my circumstances. One day this rose will die and so will I but for now I rejoice in life and I think this rose has been rejoicing as well. One thing that will never die is the Word of God. Isaiah 40:8 says,”The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (NASB)