Outside the rain pours as heavily as my tears. Lighting strikes in the distance, etching streaks of yellow across the midnight sky. Beautiful, I thought my eyes consuming the darkness outside from the living room window.
Crack! Snap! My heart stopped as I quickly backed away from the window. As a large tree branch fell to the ground from several feet above.
My attention was diverted once again with the intoxicating aroma blinding the room. My eyes drifted to a small, glass table in the middle of the room. An array of pinks, whites and yellows poked through a large vase.
But it was not those that caught my attention, instead it was a single red rose gently placed off to the side on the table. Attached to the rose was a single piece of paper with the word Mom scrawled across. I prayed for her to receive this letter tonight.
I gently placed the rose down extending my hand further out of reach. My hand encircled itself around a small bottle. In the darkness the small print was too hard to read but I didn’t worry, I knew what it said. My mind had drifted over this plan several times before.
I sat down taking one last look around, my mind searched as if preparing to take a photograph. Home, the place where I played, learned, loved. The same place where pain still lingered and broken hearts still endured. Continuing was too painful, tonight I needed to finally say goodbye.
Pain and despair grasped at my heart like a searing knife. I stirred; knowing my time to embrace death was drawing near.
Sometimes we find moments of life when all hope seems lost and all loves seems gone. Sometimes that is all we know and all we live. Life is not meant to be endured alone like a heart without a beat or a rose without its thorns.
Tears stung my swollen eyes and ran down my cheeks, searching for a place to empty upon. My mind once again wondered to the raging storm outside, my eyes to the bottle in my hands, but my hands wandered to the red rose on the table.
As I released my grip the bottle in my hand fell loose. Instead I picked up the single rose set on the table. As I gripped in tight, my thumb felt the smallest prick. Blood, just like the redness of the rose appeared.
How strange that a single rose could exalt such an essence of beauty but also such an essence of pain. It was a single thorn, maybe even a single life.
My eyes wandered back to the bottle on the table. I shook my head, not tonight.
There was something else I needed to do, a friend I needed to talk with first.
He hadn’t heard from me in a long while. It was late but I was sure he was there.
“God,” I whispered. “I don’t even where to begin…..”
In that moment years of pain, frustration, heartache, fear and rejection poured through. I really don’t know how long I talked or how much time had passed. I just know He listened and He loved.
Still my mind couldn’t help but wander back to the single, red rose. I suppose roses like life are meant to have thorns. But in truth their greatest beauty is always seen when they’ve finally bloomed.
As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. - Psalms 103:15
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