Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mamma’s Roses, Age 14

By Katy E.

Mamma loved roses, she had bushes and bushes of them growing around our house. In the warm months, when they blossomed, she would place them in every room, slipping them in her art deco vases. That’s the theme of our house rose-art deco. Up stairs, her studio looked more like a green house than a studio, with all the roses she had put in it. The whole western side of the studio was glass, and over looked Mamma’s enormous rose garden. She grew every rose imaginable, I never really remembered the names of any, even though she often tried to drill it through my sisters’ and mine’s head. She would take us up the long spirled starecase to her studio and we would look out the large “looking glass” as Mamma called it, and she would name all of her roses. Rain or shine she would walk through her gardens and talking and singing to them. She told me once that they talk back to her in voices of melted gold. I thought that this was very strange, but not wanting to hurt Mamma’s feelings I said nothing of my opinion and smiled and nodded.

Unfortunately, the roses Mamma loved so much out lived her. We all knew that Mamma had heart problems, yet we didn’t think much of it. Sometimes she would go into surgery and would stay at the hospital over night with Daddy. Auntie would then come and stay with my two older sisters and I. We would watch movies and eat popcorn; then Auntie would tell us embarrassing stories when she and Mamma were little. So we barely thought anything of it when she went in for another surgery. Yet, this time Mamma didn’t come back.

We planted Mamma’s favorite roses on her grave, and had them border her tomb stone. After Mamma’s death Daddy became less and less cheerful. Before, Daddy had always been playful and boyish, he would often run Mamma up the wall with his jokes and little pranks. Now his mood had slipped into the deep casams of thought and distress. Auntie came to visit more often but, her visits weren’t the same. They never were. I would often find myself sitting in Mamma’s studio gazing through the looking glass at her roses. Even they look sad. I had taken upon the honor of caring for her dear flowers. No one could make roses grow like Mamma, but I tried my best. I talked and sang to them diligently, just as she had done and one thing something amazing happened. The roses talked back. Their voices were just as Mamma had described them. Yet, intertwined in the mellow golden notes of their chorus I could hear my Mamma. I knew then that she was happy and felt my heavy heart lift within me as I listened to her voice echo within the petals.