I knew that this past weekend might be tough. My mom died on May 11th three years ago, and this year the date fell on Mother’s Day. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared it would be. That’s because I’m remembering more of the good stuff than the bad from that time.

There was an article in the news this past week about a woman who suffers from Hyperthymestic Syndrome which allows/forces her to recall every day of her life from the age of 14 on. Her memories are nonstop and involuntary. But this is a mixed blessing, since she re-experiences, in the present moment, both the good days and the bad without the benefit of time smoothing out the edges.

I can’t imagine how distressing that must be. To be plunged again and again in the original pain of loss is unthinkable to me. As hard as it is to move through grief, most of us only have to travel the original path once. And we can come out the other side much stronger and able to experience life from a place we never knew existed.

One of my core beliefs is that the roses are there. Always. You may not be able to see them for quite some time but one day you realize that there are spots of color, and that they’ll bloom for you if you’re ready and open to their unfolding. You just have to be willing, and maybe put on your glasses.

Yesterday, I “just happened” to hear several of my mother’s favorite songs. I overheard people using some of her fondest expressions and found an old picture of her that I didn’t remember that I had. I also felt, for the first time, how far I have come in the past three years. One of the songs I heard was “(I Beg Your Pardon) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”. She used to sing it whenever life threw her a curve. Listening to it again, I realized that she had taught me well.

Be prepared, deal with stuff as it comes up, and be on the lookout for those yellow roses.

4 Responses to "Why Do Thorns Have Roses?"

  1. Jamie

    May 15, 2008

    How beautiful. I’m glad your mother came for a visit with you.

  2. sunny

    May 15, 2008

    Thanks, Jamie. I have no doubt. 🙂

  3. Lauren

    May 19, 2008

    That’s beautiful, mom. It’s wonderful and inspiring to see how you embody this wisdom.

  4. sunny

    May 19, 2008

    Lauren – It’s wonderful to watch you do the same.

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