This morning it was the mother of a co-worker. Last week an old family friend and the brother of a fellow-parishioner. The week before, it was that same parishioner’s mother-in-law.
Sylvia, Walter, Michael, Eleanor.
Each name is like a pressure on the bruise that formed in June, when my father died. It was COVID, although he had been failing for a while.
I look out the window at the snow-dusted garden and long for the coming spring. This whole past year has felt like a kind of winter.
In a plastic pot, against a fence, are four slender green stalks—cuttings I took from a rosebush in the fall. I’m not much of a gardener, and I’ve never tried this before, but my hope is that at least one of those stalks will grow roots and form a new bush. From my back door I can just see that they haven’t died yet. I envision tiny white threads emerging below the soil and try to shoot encouraging thoughts at them.
Come on, babies, you can do it!
The mother plants are leafless now, pruned back to sticks. But their roots hold them in place.
The roots of my family are deep. The love we were given and the love we share keep us going. And maybe this June we will finally set my father’s ashes next to my mother’s, and I’ll lay a rose on top.