The White Rose
Every Mothers day my grandmother picked a white rose from her flower garden for me to wear to church. I hated Mothers Day and white roses. I wanted to wear a red rose. I would pout and put up a fuss asking why I couldnít wear a red rose. We went through the same ritual each year.
"You have to wear a white rose when your mother is dead, itís tradition and your poor mother is dead." my grandmother would say.
" But youíre my mother now, Iíd say, so I should be able to wear a red one."
" No child, you just donít understand, I am still just your grandmother."
With that she pinned the white rose on my lapel and sent me on my way. My grandmother didnít go to church because we had a steep hill to climb and she just couldnít make it. We didnít have a car, in fact there were very few people in our town who did and they walked to church because gasoline was rationed.
There was a creek between our house and the church, just before the hill. One Mothers day I took my rose off and threw it in the creek and watched it float out of sight.
Of course, when I got to church, everyone there knew me and some asked where my rose was. Standing right there in church, I lied, saying with down cast eyes, " I lost it."
After the death of my grandmother when I was fifteen, my beautiful aunt who had shared the responsibility of raising me with my grandmother, since I was ten, had the job all alone.
I loved my grandmother with all my heart but what I felt for my aunt was adoration to the point of worship.
My grandmother died in March. The following Mothers Day, I picked the deepest red rose I could find and wore it. When my aunt saw it, she asked why I was wearing a red rose. I said what I had said to my grandmother all those years, " Because you are my mother now."
Tears welled in her eyes and she said, "If thatís the way you feel, Babe, then by all means wear it because I feel the same way." We both had a good cry.
My aunt didnít have any children. She had a little boy that died when he was three years old and she never had anymore, except for me.
I think the only disagreement I ever had with my grandmother was over the white rose.
I feel, and I guess I always have, that you donít have to give birth to a child to be its mother.
God was very good to me. He gave me two of the best.
I no longer hate white roses. I think all of Gods creations are beautiful.
A golden memory from childhood.
By Lora Cox ©2001
My Beautiful Aunt, Picture taken Easter, 1942
Evelyn Lee Threadgill
August 30, 1909 January 1,1986