A rose by any other name …

by tamarjacobson


I love yellow roses. 

The greatest day of my life was when my son was born. I was twenty four years old when he came out of my body and into the world.

I will never forget that day for the rest of my life.

His father sent me a bouquet of yellow roses, and from that moment I have always loved them.

I was not aware I was thinking about this until I sat down to write about it. I guess it is no coincidence. When I looked out my window this morning, I noticed that the new little, yellow rose bush that Hana gave me for my birthday had its first bloom out in the front garden. I gasped with joy and pleasure, and rushed out to look at it closely. There were three buds waiting to burst open as well. The heat has been exhausting even for the plants, and I have been especially careful to water the rose bush often since I planted it right next to a miniature Azalea I recently received at a fund raiser downtown Philadelphia.

I picked the first rose early this morning and rushed up to write this post. And then I realized … why, it is my son's birthday in three days! My subconscious had made all the connections before I had time to notice. I am forever intrigued by my crafty old subconscious mind!

When I was twenty four, I probably felt the most unworthy I could ever have felt. I was unable to pass French "A" Levels in high school three times in a row, and married a man, who until this day maintained that he never loved me nor wanted to marry me … rather, I had forced him into it. Of course, looking back, it was natural that I stayed with him as long as I did, all the while trying to please him into loving me. For, I had the impression in those days that I was too flawed a person to be lovable to any man. For example, when our two mothers met for the first time, I was standing in the kitchen and anxiously overheard them talking, hoping the meeting would go well. His mother said to mine, "Your daughter is lucky to have my son, he is a genius!" I listened intently. My mother replied, "I know what you mean. My son is a genius too." That memorable conversation helped to reinforce my feeling that I, an unintelligent nobody, was lucky to have a man as smart as that, and from that day on, I was grateful for his tolerance of me.

On the day my son was born, for the first time in my relationship with his father I felt I had done something worthy of him. I managed to do something good and right, and when he sent me the yellow roses, I had proof that finally … maybe … I might have become lovable to him.

But then, one of the nurses brought my son to me. I held him in my arms, cradling him toward my breast and looked into his eyes. His face was wise, eyes bright and clear, and he held my gaze intently. I could not help but notice that he resembled my beloved, old father. I loved my baby immediately and without a shred of hesitation, even as I thought to myself, "He is sizing me up, wondering if he likes me." All my fears of "getting it right," or anxieties about whether his father loved me or not flew out the window. I loved my son deeply and unconditionally. From then on, for me, yellow roses represented that glorious day.

Two years ago at Mining Nuggets: The blank page