Yellow roses have had a significance in my life, in my family.

They were the flower of my first marriage, from my wedding bouquet to the many anniversaries that followed.  When Andy died on September 23 our lives were changed forever.  26 years later, I remember.

We bought 41 yellow roses for his memorial, for he was 41.  I handed them out to his colleagues; paramedics and police, and later when we visited the fresh grave the roses were strewn over it, a blanket of yellow.

Later when I wrote about our story we named my little publishing company Yellow Rose Publishing.  It seemed fitting.

The other day as I walked into work, I captured the beauty of this yellow rose near the hospital.  So beautiful.

Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose

And appropriate.  For again I find myself in a place of grief, mourning a precious friend who died rather unexpectedly, even though she was frail.

Sometimes you don’t realize how precious a friendship is until conversation is no more, and I think of the gifts we shared.  Yes, we talked about the troubles of the world, but then shared the joys of our grandchildren, we laughed at the silliest of jokes, and after our conversation we always prayed.  We prayed to God who knew, who cared.  And our visits always ended with “I love you”.

Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.  That was the saying on an old needlework piece I did years ago, and it still rings true.  I sat this week with another couple, death threatening to separate them in this world.  I listened.  I prayed.

There are beginnings.  And endings.  Life is precious and good and sad.

They say grief is the price you pay for love.  Perhaps.  Love is a gift that lasts, even as the picture I took of that beautiful rose will last.  The rose itself is gone, perhaps it’s petals gracing the ground.  But the gift of its beauty is a memory that will remain.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

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