The Demise of a Rosebush

I cried over a rosebush last week. Wept. Sobbed. And I don’t even like plants!

Let me explain. When we bought this house almost five years ago, one of the most charming things about it was the backyard. Obviously the woman in the house had taken great pride in creating a beautiful outdoor space. It included not only a vast array of plants but a deck, one section of which was covered by a flat, slatted roof of sorts. Along one support post for this cover grew a creeping rose bush that had been lovingly trained to vine out over the slatted top. It only covered maybe ¼ of the space.

Over the years, the rosebush tendrils grew longer and longer. We trimmed them, weaved them in and out, until by the end of last summer—four years after buying the house—we had a beautiful green canopy shading us from the unrelenting summer sun. It made our deck useable. Enjoyable.

This year, we realized a good tree trimming was long overdue, so my husband hired it done, asking the guy to trim some off the top of the rosebush roof as well, since while we’d kept the sides in shape, we couldn’t reach it on top. The guys showed up. I was in other parts of the house busy with other things. I walked into the living room, looked out my windows and saw sunlight streaming down on my deck. No rosebush. It was gone.

After calmly asking them to stop (there still remained the main branch and root running up the support pole) and explaining that there had been a mistake, I started to cry. Just a bit of a shaky voice and watery eyes as I spoke with the apologetic men, but heartrending sobs after I shut the door and fled to the back bedroom.

I realized even then that my reaction was over-the-top. I knew it was tied to the physical and emotional exhaustion of the week, three out of town games to end the basketball season you’ve read about here already. But it was the demise of my rosebush that spurred the deluge of tears. A rosebush I didn’t even plant and honestly very rarely tended. But I knew I would miss its shade in summer much as I will miss my calm and compassionate son when he leaves for college.

How about you? Do you get emotional over the big things or do you find your temper or tears spilling out over something small and unrelated?


Niki Turner said...

I feel your pain. I have a huge umbrella tree we inherited from the church about 15 years ago when it outgrew the church foyer. It's about 8' tall. Over the years it has been home to green plastic army men on recon missions, stuffed monkeys in need of a jungle, Christmas lights that burned tiny holes in the leaves, and peanut shells (my children who were convinced the peanut shells would help it grow). It has always been a leaf-dropper, but this winter it appears to be on its last, er, stems. My kids asked what was wrong with it. "We've always had that tree, it can't die!"
That left me sobbing over a houseplant. But like you said, it's more than the plant, it's what that plant represents - memories. I'm tearing up just writing this! Maybe God, who sees our tears, even the "silly" ones, will put in a rose bush for you and an umbrella tree for me in our heavenly mansions. : )

Anne Mateer said...

Aw, thanks, Niki. I'm so glad I'm not the only one that cries at the demise of a plant!

aliciamarie911 said...

Oh my goodness. I can totally relate. The past few months have been so emotionally draining for me that I seem to cry for no reason. My poor husband never understands why I'm so upset, and frankly I can't pinpoint what gets me crying either. I think sometimes it's great to be a girl when things like that happen. We can always blame it on being a woman! Everyone understands that. :)

Anne Mateer said...

Yes, Alicia, at least we have that!