September 2, 2007

The Rose

The day my grandmother was admitted to the hospital for a severe heart attack I remember my aunt telling me I needed to be there because the doctor had told her my grandmother would not go home. The first time I arrived in the ICU room, she was asleep, so I told my aunt I would come back in a little while. I don't really remember what made me stop by the flower shop in my hometown, but I did. I do remember telling my aunt that I wanted to get my grandmother a flower. She thought it was a great idea, but warned me not to buy a lot because my grandmother might not even remember. I chose a single red rose for my grandmother that day.

When I went back to the hospital, she was awake. I presented her with the red rose. To each and everyone that came into her room, my grandmother pointed out the red rose and bragged that it came from me. She was non-stop talk about that rose every time I saw her and every time family and hospital staff saw her. The next day, she had talked her doctor into letting her leave. While he advised against it, he understood that she didn't want to die in a hospital. So they arranged for an ambulance to transport her 2 hours to Oklahoma in a nursing home where here brother stayed.

Before they moved her, my grandmother was determined that her rose was kept safe. Because I had planned on following the ambulance to the nursing home, I told her I would take the rose with me. A few hours later we were on our way to Oklahoma, the rose safe in my keeping. When we arrived at the nursing home, the first thing my grandmother asked about was that rose. I promised her it was safe and sound and when we arrived to her room, I placed the rose on the table beside her bed.

When it was time to go, she was determined that I stayed. It took a long time before I had to convince her that I had to go because of my ex-husband's job. I promised her I would see her again in a week and I walked out those doors believing that would be true.

A few days later my grandmother passed away. The rose that she kept on her beside table was placed in the casket with her, along with a rose for each child she'd had. It is one of the memories that still remains clearly in my mind.