Last year, the "Mrs. Dorhauer" rose was finally beautiful. Vines, thick and hearty, climbed over and under themselves, only stopping to scatter the occasional large clusters of single roses among the web of green.
I was proud...something belonging to my husband's grandmother, and I had kept it to share with my children.
Not that I really did anything to be proud of. The extent of my contribution didn't involve much more than digging up the struggling shoot and transplanting it to its new home. Sure, I poured on a few buckets of water when its leaves crinkled threateningly in the hot summer afternoons, but mostly, I ignored it.
Still, when anyone spoke of its massive beauty, my chest swelled with pride.
When we moved this past summer, the rose had to stay behind until the cold winter days would give it a chance of surviving its own move.
I knew I would need to prune it significantly and that it would take a few years to get to its former glorious state, but when I went to dig it up today, I was completely dismayed at what I found.
Between my husband and father-in-law's less-than-motherly attempt to detach it from the red barn when they moved it here and the new renters who really don't like roses by their new fire pit, there wasn't much left.
The main center stalk had been cut almost to the ground with one thin vine shooting forth as evidence that it still lived.
Foot pounding spade into the earth, I circled round until I had freed the plant from its home. Then, I began digging a few feet away where roots had traveled underground to produce a dozen or more healthy new plants.Back at the house, I made holes in the red Louisiana clay, planting each small vine and considering how much I'd lost.
And in that instant, the plant wasn't just a plant. It was my lost children, Doug's lost career.
I couldn't help but thinking how many times have I produced something beautiful only to have someone or something come along and take it away? Destroy it?
This starting over--I know how difficult it can be. It requires much energy put to new growth. And it will never be exactly the same as it once was.
Even so, I chide myself, remembering that I didn't create what was beautiful. I had no real right to it beyond the moment it was granted me as a blessed gift from above.
It's hard, a truth I have to make peace with more often than I'd like. But in the struggling is faith that God will re-make us...hopefully, more beautiful than before.