Guest story – The rose garden
“It’s my mother!” I exclaimed, racing to the door, as my husband remained on the couch, confused.
I was excited as I realized my mother had come to visit. I opened the door. She was on the front yard. She seemed in no rush to come in the house. She was too entertained with the unkempt rose bushes that had grown everywhere about the yard.
Mom! I approached her, with open arms. She turned around and hugged me. My heart pounded. It had been a long time since the last time I had seen my mother. She had not changed. Her short brown hair looked shiny and stylish. She was wearing a green dress. I think she always preferred the color green although she never expressed her preference out loud.
She continued toying with the rose bushes. As I looked around I noticed my yard had become a derelict garden. The rose bushes laid flat, heavy from their overgrown weight. The weeds had multiplied. I followed my mother as she walked through the foliage, gently brushing with her fingers against some of the wilting roses.
“I trimmed this rose bush for you,” she said, in a melancholy voice. She looked at my puzzled face and smiled. I glanced past her to the bush. It stood erect, perfectly trimmed. The roses were vibrant, standing out in their graceful luster.
“Thank you, mom! The roses look beautiful.” I said, pausing, suddenly at a loss for words. I was astonished with the glow the singular rose bush cast among its neglected siblings and cousins in the garden.
She turned to walk and began talking about Alexander and Rafael, my brothers. The words she spoke were unintelligible. She spoke not English, not Spanish, not like any words I had ever heard, yet I perfectly understood what she said to me. She said she worried about my brothers; she need me to watch over them.
Living far away from Alexander and Rafael, and with our busy lives, made it difficult to call each other often. But my mother wouldn’t have certainly wanted to hear my excuses. I am the oldest child, and I’ve always assumed, if not assigned, the protective, leading role among my siblings. I vowed I would keep in close communication with them.
As we walked, I embraced a familiar, delightful fragrance. An enchanting scent of the resurrected rose bush permeated the air. I inhaled deeply, slowly releasing the air I captured in my lungs, afraid that I would lose the memory of the scent of the roses in the breeze as my breath, drifted away from us.
Unexpectedly, I detected a different scent, imperceptible, but more beautiful than that of the roses. I searched for the source of the faint fragrance. I traced the scent to a unique bush with bright purple flowers. It displayed its petals, wide and open, fancifully. I touched one of the flowers, and took a deep breath… I opened my eyes, and realized that I had been in a dream. A glowing, beautiful dream. Perhaps a gift from my mother, who had died last year.
The vivid images of the dream of my mother and the garden predominated my thoughts the rest of the day. I relived the dream over and over, imprinting in my memory the dream in every detail so as not to forget the dream, and especially my mother’s message.
I need to call my brothers this week, I thought. It had been months since we last talked.
The next day, as I left my office to go to lunch, my cell phone rang. It displayed a number from an unknown caller. I don’t normally answer unidentified calls, but accepted the call nonetheless.
Hesitantly, I answered.
“Hey sister! It’s Alexander!” His cheerful voice resounded.
“What a surprise!” I was astonished. “I planned to call you this week.” The dream flooded my mind.
“Really?” He chuckled. “I guess we’re telepathic…”
By – DORIS PLASTER
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Writing short stories is one of my hobbies.