Your Rose Garden

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I watched you for what seemed like hours as you tended your rose garden. I never understood why you would want to have so many roses and why you would want to spend so much time out there. You would always say you loved the way the dirt smelled. You would spend countless summer days bent over the garden, sweat dripping from your brow, pulling the weeds and pruning the roses. You would come inside sweaty, dirty, and looking exhausted but you always had a smile on your face.

I don’t get it I would say. You would reply, what’s their to get. It’s my time to do what I love and it’s my time I spend all alone with God. You should hear the conversations we would have. I would always reply I don’t know if I want to and we would laugh.

Even in the dark cold days of winter you would get bundled up and go outside to walk the path through your garden. Talking to them, touching their dead branches. Of course, I didn’t get that either. Why on earth? You would always say that they aren’t dead. There is life inside of them. They are like a lot of people in this world. Walking dead but there is life in them. It’s up to us to bring that life out. Waiting patiently, for today they may appear dead but with tomorrow there is always hope.

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You are like that. You had a natural beauty that I was instantly attracted to but it was your inner beauty that would light up my heart. You could walk into a dark room and it would be like someone turned on the lights. It is the type of person you are.

Until one day you were taken from me. A teenager was texting and driving and ran into you. Neither of you survived. God needed his angel back and I had to pay the price. At your funeral the pastor recited your favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Forget you God. If this is your plan then I don’t want any part of it. I looked out the back window and saw your rose garden. In my grief, I ran outside and I pulled and broke and cut every rose bush. I screamed and hollered your name. I screamed at God.

Out of breath, cut, scratched, and bleeding from the thorns, I dropped to my knees and let my tears water the lifeless dirt.

Summer turned to winter and, like the days , my heart grew darker and colder. I didn’t know how to live without you. I didn’t want to live without you. God should’ve taken me with you. My pain was too much to bear.

I looked out the window and saw the bare garden. I finally understood what you meant. Even if they appeared dead, at least they were still there. Now there was nothing but bare dirt. I grieved more as I recalled that day I destroyed what you loved.

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As seasons go, winter turned to spring. We had an early spring this year. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. Somehow in the very back of the garden, barely visible from where I stood, a rose bush had survived and now had two roses blooming.

I ran outside as fast as I could. I had to touch them to see if they were real. As I did, I could swear I caught a faint scent of you. Then in the spring breeze I could swear I heard your laughter. I immediately dropped to my knees and grabbed a handful of dirt. It smelled so full of life.

In that moment, I felt my heart start to beat again.

I went out and bought as many rose bushes as I could find. There had to be at least a hundred of them and I was going to fix what I destroyed. I was going to fix your rose garden.

I labored for hours that first day. I went to bed exhausted, sore and smelling like dirt but I would wake up refreshed, ready to start again. I realized I could not do it on my own.

I looked at my phone, hesitant to dial their number. I dialed anyway. I called the teenagers parents and they came over to help. I think all of us healed a little bit that day.

I watched every day as your garden came back to life. I spent hours out there talking to you. I slowly learned to talk to God again.

Summer rolled around and I was still in the garden. Sweat rolling off every inch of my body but it was okay. I stood up to take a break and I swear I felt your hand touch mine. I closed my eyes remembering what your touch felt like. I looked down at my hand but yours was not there. I started to lift it up when a beautiful butterfly landed in my palm. Then a sliver of light fell right on it, giving it its own spotlight. I smiled, then the butterfly fluttered toward my face and touched my cheek, as if giving me a kiss. Then it flew to a nearby rose and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time.

I said your name out loud. Kim?

Then a summer breeze picked up and I swear I heard it carry your laughter. Tears fell down my face but I smiled.

In your rose garden I found life again. I found you again. I found God again.

I miss you every minute of every day but it was right there and then that I knew I would never be alone.

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Maybe Today

 

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There was a time

When I would hit my knees and pray

 

Thanking God you were mine

But that was before He took you away

 

I was upset, no, I was angry

Eyes sewn shut

 

No light could get in

I never thought to look up

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Running in circles

Can’t catch my breath

 

Don’t want to live

I would prefer death

I am out of tears

I scream and shout

 

I don’t want to grab the hand

I can see reaching out

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It never occurred to me

That I was on the wrong side

 

Until through a single crack

Appeared a slither of light

 

A feeling I can’t explain

A weight lifted off my chest

 

I could suddenly breathe again

A time to heal, a time to rest

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All the hurt and pain diminished

Understanding the tears I cried

 

Then a voice, I understand your pain

For my own son died

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Spinning by Disciple- 

Pull The Plug by I Prevail- 

On My Way  by Hayden Panettiere- 

The Shack Movie Trailer – Keep Your Eyes on Me by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – 

The Wound Is Where The Light Gets In by Jason Gray – 

A Father’s Gift

 

The second of three poems I am sharing this week that I wrote a long time ago.

If you missed the first one here it is:  A Mother’s Gift

I also posted another poem on Monday about spending time with your significant other, you can find it here :  If It’s Only An Hour

A Father’s Gift
It’s just you and me now

We will get by somehow

I promise to give you all my love

You’ll always be who I’m thinking of

I know you’re sad, I am too

Oh no baby , I don’t regret you

I know that we lost your mother

So you may never have a sister or a brother

I know no one will ever take her place

Someday, you may be asked to let another be that face

Until then, it will be just you and I

So we must remember, even when we don’t know why

Everything happens for a reason

Good and bad, in every season

We’ll both make mistakes, but nothing you ever do

Could ever, ever , take away my love for you 

A Fathers Love For His Daughter (commercial) – 

Don’t Take The Girl by Tim McGraw – 

Car In Front Of Me by Luke Bryan – 

Save A Place For Me by Matthew West – 

Without You by For King & Country – 

Sissy’s Song by Alan Jackson – 

One More Day by Diamond Rio – 

If I Had Only Known by Reba McEntire – 

Say Hello To Heaven by Collin Raye – 

 

 

For Those Of Us Left Behind

My cousin said some powerful words to me that I can’t explain how humbled I was by them. I had been thinking about writing this post since I wrote about my dad but other things kept popping in my head. I wanted to try to make sure I came up with the right words so I went for a nature run on a bike trail I had not ran in a few years to clear my head. As usual in these times I felt God telling me what to say, I just have to remember them, so I hope this comes out okay.

I had regrets when my dad died. That I didn’t visit him enough. That I didn’t this or didn’t that. That I would never see him again. My mom told me over the last few months before he died he was seeing a pastor and had given his life to God. That brought me a lot of comfort because I know I will see him again.

The first thing that came to mind is not everyone grieves the same. Everyone remembers their loved ones differently. The flood of memories that came back to me as I stepped on this trail were awesome. I remembered the first time I ran it and wondering what I got myself into. There are two six mile bike trails and this one is said to be the easier for bike riding so I chose it. It sucked. I tripped on roots three times and fell and got skinned up. By the way, the second trail is easier to run. I remembered when I brought Kim out here and how she hated it. She is a road runner, not a trail runner. I remembered running these trails when I was recovering from injury, because trails are softer than roads. I remembered when I fell one time and my key fell out of my hand and was lost forever. I looked for it for over an hour going back and forth over a 100 yard area and nothing. I had to walk to the nearest store and call Kim to come pick me up. All these things I remembered four years after I had ran this trail.

That brings me to memories of loved ones. How things come out of nowhere and hit you hard. I can hear my dad playing drums each time I hear Kylie playing his drums. When I want to feel him, sometimes I go play them. Not even 1% as well but I play. When I do everything I can to see Kylie play sports I remember the times dad couldn’t make our events because he was on the road. A song comes on that I haven’t heard in thirty years and I can remember asking my dad to play it on his drums. I remember him when I do the same stupid things to my kids that he did to me growing up. Things I said I would never do or say.

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I feel his presence just like I feel God’s. Sometimes it’s just in a butterfly that floats by out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s in gentle breeze on a breezeless day. Sometimes it’s when I mow the grass and I remember how he taught me to mow. Sometimes it’s when I go out to get the paper and I remember the times he drove me around on my paper route in the dead of winter so I wouldn’t be in the cold for an hour.

What did God teach me on the trail today? He taught me that there is a time for everything. A time to run and a time to walk. A time when the lush green of summer turns into the abundance of color in fall. He taught me for every time I went up that there would be an easier time just on the other side. He taught me that when I am lost and in the middle of nowhere He will build a bridge to help me cross.

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He taught me that sometimes old paths are made new for new memories. This picture is of a bridge that didn’t use to be there. It crosses a creek that I would have to run through to get to the other side. Now I can keep dry.

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He taught me that even on a long bridge when I feel safe and secure that sometimes rocks will come up and I will have to navigate over. He taught me that He is there to help me and when I overcome this set back that He will guide me back to where I am safe and secure.

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He taught me that if I trust in Him that He will carry me through these rough times. If He doesn’t carry me, He will take the obstacle out of the way for me.

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He taught me even out in the forest all by myself that He will send a reminder to me. How amazing that a butterfly flew in front of me and landed right beside me.

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He taught me that as I look back on the path behind me that there is still a path in front of me. That when I forget, which I often do, that He was there then, building bridges for me to cross, that He is here now and that He will be there on the path ahead. I must pick up my feet and continue forward.

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He taught me that, just like Jesus, my dad is here. He is in everything I do. He is at every sporting event. He is inside of me. He helped make me who I am today and I know he would want me to continue on. He is watching from the best seat in the house. That makes me want to be a better person.

Dear God,

I pray that you bring comfort to those that are grieving. I pray that you will send them a reminder that their loved ones are watching over them. A gentle breeze on a breezeless day. A butterfly out of nowhere. A rain cloud on a sunny day or a rainbow on a rainy day. Have a song come on that lets them remember. Most of all God, I pray that you help them take the next step forward. That you remind them that they will see their loved ones again.  In your name, amen.

Best Seat In The House by the LoCash Cowboys-  

Healing by Blessid Union of Souls – 

About You by Soulidium- 

Together Again by Janet Jackson – 

Where I Belong by Building 429 – 

A Father’s Love (Only Way He Knows How) by Bucky Covington – 

He Weeps by Fireflight –

I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan – 

Holes In The Floor Of Heaven by Steve Wariner – 

Old King James by Scotty McCreery – 

See You In A Little While by Steven Curtis Chapman – 

There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp – 

I’ll See You Again by Westlife – 

Heart Headed Home by Scott Parker – 

Wings Of A Butterfly by Jimmy Scott – 

Before the Morning by Josh Wilson – 

Trust by Matt Hammitt –