Have you stopped and smelled the roses today?
Have you opened the gate to the “little things of your life”, to gaze around and take in the bounty of beauty before you?
Have you stood on that secret hillside moments after sunrise to soak in a vast view that fades into the horizon beyond what eyes can see, a scene bursting with roses of every color in the rainbow, whose perfumed fragrance will overwhelm with just one breath?
Your “rose garden of thankfulness” remains open for visitors all hours of the day and night.
A garden hidden in your heart, whose passage only requires a moment of reflection, a moment of silence to stop and smell your roses of blessing.
The world was caught off guard weeks ago when she was unexpectedly “put on notice” to take shelter at home, temporarily closing the doors of life as she knew it.
No one saw this coming.
A “perfect storm” which vacated streets, shuttered businesses and took people everywhere “off the clock”, clearing their “to-do-lists” until further instruction.
Our busy lives turned into ghost towns.
Chaos of calendars is quieted.
The unknown of tomorrow is on everyone’s mind.
The world in their homes wakes up to a posture of stillness, a forgotten atmosphere of silence, yet a gift for those who wake up smelling their roses.
You don’t realize what you have until you can’t have it for now, confronting a new emotion from our
“Isolations of love.”
A month ago our house was a flurry of activity. A month ago our house was a revolving door of grandkids, friends, neighbors, and loved ones. A month ago I could visit my mother at her nursing home facility anytime I wanted.
A month ago we found ourselves stopping and smelling our “roses of blessings” quite frequently, never giving a thought though how unreachable our garden would be a month and a day later.
Now, we grieve from the “social distance” we must keep from these ten grandchildren we are so crazy about, unable to explain to them why overnight visits to Papa and Gaga’s house have been postponed. We grandparents want to break all rules that bar us from reaching into these windows and cyberspace for hugs and kisses that have left our arms and hearts terribly empty.
Harder yet, how does a grown child bring comfort and peace to their lonely mother separated and isolated from the other side of her screened view, whose arms they embraced and hands frequently held in conversation only a month ago.
During these Isolations of love the world is experiencing together, what an appropriate time for all of us to stop and smell the roses that never go out of season.
Though as grandparents we long the noise of running feet of our grandchildren racing up and down the halls, we are immensely grateful as they enjoy this much needed family time with their parents through homeschooling, play and meals together.
Though as adult children we long to freely walk into the nursing home facility where our mother calls home, and while my mother and her resident friends are now socially distancing taking meals in their rooms and playing hallway bingo.
We haven’t forgotten how spoiled and well-loved our mother is at this facility. The staff here takes every opportunity to create special events during the holidays for their residents.
Don’t get me started on the great honor bestowed to these residents during Mother’s day one year.
Just ask the community and family members invited to come Trick-or-treating at their grandparent’s residence and hear their boasts about the detailed thoughtfulness of food, games and candy waiting for them during Halloween.
How included and special our mother and residents are made to feel during Valentine’s Day and Christmas, especially from the local police officers handing out gifts and wheelchair speeding tickets to our loved ones.
When you stop,
when you take a moment to smell the roses,
the blessings of God emerge,
become magnified and overwhelm one’s heart
when you take inventory of what God has done
and means in your life.
All this uncertainty shall pass.
Normalcy will return with hopes that we have been changed to a simpler life, a more appreciative view of our blessings.
Papa and I can’t wait for the doors of cousin camp to reopen.
I can’t wait for the day when the doors of my mother’s nursing home are open again for visitors.
May we as a family view our time with her differently by not putting off visiting her tomorrow when we might only have today.
Might we as a family celebrate her even more, as she has been a wonderful blessing especially to those who call her great-grandma.
A true blessing to those who call her grandma.
And an eternal blessing to those who call her mom.
I treasure and am forever grateful in my heart for our 25th Wedding Anniversary that was shared with family and our mother, an evening scrapbooked of memories and highlights that would not have taken place a few months later.
Mother even was caught on camera doing the limbo.
While mother doesn’t understand Facetime or the fancy trends of technology, mother is still a phone call away during these isolations of love.
Mother has missed us as much as we do her, and the wonderful people of her nursing home have allowed her to tell us so through their pictures posted on social media, a gift that we as a family and all the resident families are truly appreciative of.
During our day when we find ourselves especially lonely and void during these
Isolations of love.
Might we be drawn to the hillside of our blessings, to that secret place whose gate is open whenever we need a lifting of our countenance,
When we need to be reminded of our bountiful blessings,
As we stop and smell the beautiful roses that God has planted in the garden of our hearts.