Thursday, April 15, 2010

Treasure on Earth

My earliest memory of her was as the rather odd lady in the library who seemed to know about every book on the five foot tall shelves that divided the closet-sized room in half and lined the walls of the room.

Most mornings before Sunday School, I would enter the odd-smelling, cramped church library to find Mrs. Rosealea sitting alone at her small desk filled with new books not yet processed, an ink pad, pencils for signing my name, a box with cards from the checked-out books, a stamper with the rotary-dial date, and sometimes a few dessert-plate sized camellia blossoms.

Sometimes, I chose my own books. But more often, she followed me around, pulling book after book off the shelves, telling me why I needed to read it or (more often) how it reminded her of some real-life person or event. I would always politely listen and nod my head, but inside, I was hoping she would just finish the story so I wouldn't be late for class.

Most Sundays, I would leave with more books than I intended on taking, some that I never actually read. Somehow, I always felt guilty putting back some of those "suggested" books that just didn't seem too interesting to a young girl.

As I grew into an adult, Mrs. Rosealea was still the oddest woman I knew. But I loved her for it. Her life was not easy, but her smile and laugh were ever-present. And she showed me true concern for others' souls as she visited and matter of factly shared the gospel. Her boldness was (and is) something I could never match.

When Mrs. Rosealea went to heaven a few years ago, she didn't leave much earthly treasure behind. Today, her daughter called, offering my family, and several others, the chance to dig up some of her left-behind plants before the property sale was complete and the land bulldozed under.

As my father dug up a sampling of daffodil, snowdrop, and glad bulbs; a small seven-sisters rose; purple iris tubers; and several other unnamed flowering plants, I thought how fitting it is that the plants Mrs. Roselea carefully cultivated will now add beauty to several houses around our community.

Her memory will live on...not in the plants, but in the treasured stories I will remember in my heart each time I weed the flowerbeds or smell the flowers' scented blossoms...and when I tell my children of a woman they never met, but whom they would have loved, too.


  1. I love this. Rosalea was and is unforgettable. I still miss her.

  2. That is such a great way to remember her.

    Stop by and share your thoughts in the comments of our new weekend meme. You'll see.

    Then share some CR in post below. See what my hubby wrote... ha!

  3. My dear friend,
    I am here at you blog place today, paying you a visit... to read up again on what I have missed since I last came over, and to re connect with your heart. A beautiful heart indeed.

    This post so touched me...the flowers and plants you dug up, I would have loved some of them in my own garden.

    And reading about the God hat that Wyatt saw, this little boy is so perceptive at three, and so much we can learn from him! I believe he is a little version of you... who can see beneath the surface.

    The book you talked about, Sacred Journey by Foster... is a book Id want to read for myself. While he doesn't talk much about the destination, and doesn't believe in metaphorical pilgrimages... maybe there are a few things like you that I can pick up from it. And by the way, I believe you and I are on a pilgrimage...not the kind he talks about, but a different one.

    For me I am on a pilgrimage of downsizing, and narrowing my focus, and simplifying... since my husband died, this has become more and more real for me...even simplifying my relationships, at least the way I look at them.

    It stirs up so many thoughts and emotions inside of me now, what you wrote about Sacred Journey.

    And as I read about the empty house, I could almost feel your emotions. I felt so sad, for that is how I would feel about empty houses too... what catches me is what you wrote at the end. The emptiness within our souls...that is the saddest thing of all.

    I was so glad I came by today, and was able to reconnect with someone who is becoming more dear to me with every post of yours that I read.