On November 8, 2014, just last week, my husband Rolly and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. Our daughter, Carrie the pastry chef, and her helpmate Phil, and our son Steven, the wordsmith, put on an amazing party for us. 100 people enjoyed a delicious dessert buffet,baked entirely by Carrie. There was also a slide show of our family, friends, home-daycare children of long ago, family bakery and other workplaces, homes, gardens and holidays.Our daughter, son, niece Sheri,and sister Marsha all lauded us in speeches that were blush-worthy in their kind evaluation of our lives. After the event we enjoyed all of the evening’s highlights photographed by Marsha and put to music by Steven. It was incredible! Thank you to all who presented us with lovely cards and words of congratulations and to those who defied the best wishes only rule too! Your gifts were very thoughtful.
So, is it really true? Are Rolly and I truly as happy as our kids say we are? Or is that just a lot of malarkey? Well, I married a natural-born gardener and he has been on his knees all the years of our marriage (to make up for the fact that when he proposed he wasn’t. But that’s just conjecture on my part and another story entirely.)The end result has just been such a work of love.
For all of those years, anything that could be grown in South Western Ontario in clay loam soil, he has planted and cared for— even if it required intensive hand weeding, or pruning. At one point we had 120 rose bushes in numerous varieties! Roses are one of both Rolly’s and my favourites. I’ve written a number of poems on roses for that reason. The following is one I thought was fitting to post after 45 years together. Perhaps it explains a bit about how we’ve remained so happy.
The Gift of a Rose
Love of one’s youth is like a rose—its petals touched with dew,
Beautiful to look upon, fresh and sweet and new,
Perfect in every detail, a joy for all to see,
Lacking not a petal— yet not what it shall be—
For if the rose is cared for, each day it fuller grows,
’Til the hand of our Creator in every petal shows.
And all the splendour present, grows with each day more intense,
’Til even being near it is a gift to every sense.
For those that are around it—and even passers-by,
It leaves a deep impression—on the heart, not just the eye.
So, cherish, nurture, dote upon, this precious growing thing,
That it might fill you full of joy, and joy to others bring.
And ask that God will care for it and shelter it through storms,
That even through adversity it will not suffer harms.
And never let a blemish or a mark be made by spite,
By selfishness, or thoughtlessness, or careless oversight.
But nurse whatever hurts may come through asking for forgiveness,
That as the years go rolling on, both God and man may witness
That perfect budding rose of love, grown to mature completeness,
A gift to every human sense of overwhelming sweetness.