© jb katke
Rose accused me of having frog eyes.
I hope my introduction of Rose will do her justice. Her life was like a flower to me. Did I ever let her know that? No, and it hurts my heart that I’m so lousy at maintaining friendships.
She and her husband Hank were neighbors of my husband. We were going together when I first met them. Often, when we had no money for a real date, we walked two doors down to visit with them.
Hank and Rose mentored us when mentoring wasn’t cool. They may or may not have realized how much we gleaned from them. It took years before I realized it myself.
Together they showed us what family life was all about. They were a blended family but Hank took her family as his, and likewise, his family became Roses. I know no details of their life beforehand and refuse to speculate. There is an advantage to take life where it’s at and move forward because the past is history.
Rose was perpetually involved in some project. Always revolving around family. Although she may have been contemplating a needlework sampler for the two of us. I saw the same pattern she did and ordered it to make myself. That’s when she called me frog eyes.
Even so, both of them took time to chat with us teenagers. They made relationship a priority. We weren’t part of the ‘in crowd’ of party-goers, drinkers, or doing drugs. Instead these precious neighbors were more our speed.
She shared the secret of how to get a husband to do a chore for her. Rose had repeatedly asked Hank to paint their iron stair rail, but he never quite found the time for it. One Saturday morning she laid out newspaper on the carpeted steps and proceeded to open the paint can.
“What are you doing?” Hank inquired.
“I could see how busy you’ve been, so I decided I could probably do this myself.”
“Here, give me the brush, I’ll take over.”
I use the analogy of a flower because a flower brings beauty into any place. It improves whatever is close by it and that is what Rose did for me. She showed me the impact a loving wife can have to her husband, her home and her family.
Whatever brought her to mind I cannot say, but I googled her and learned of her death. This I can say, whatever her age, she always seemed young. She embraced the computer age and became adept in the cyber world, putting me to shame.
Just as a flower fades with time, apparently so did Rose. Alzheimer’s is a frustrating death that is torturous for loved ones to witness.
While I don’t know her spiritual life, she reminds me much of Jesus. Rose and Jesus prioritized people. Both of them saw the good in others and showed their care.
Goodbye Rose, I love you and hope to see you later.