A Rose is Fallen

The Reedy's and the Lester's have inhabited the Appalachian Mountains for hundreds of years.  Near the town of Richlands Virginia, where my father was raised and where my mother met my father, rises a small creek that meanders its way through Southwest Virginia into Tennessee and past the Kmart where my mother worked and retired.  It is along this creek, Reedy Creek, that my favorite place to run is found, the Kingsport Greenbelt.  It was here that I gave my mother her last rose.  I had collected one perfect blossom from her graveside as we laid her to rest at the foot of "her mountain" in Tazewell Virginia, where she was born and raised.  I committed that rose to the waters of Reedy Creek as the day before we had committed her body to rest in the ground at the foot of those enduring mountains to await the promised resurrection of our Lord.

My mother passed away on Sept 13th.  She went quietly and gently and I am thankful for that.  

There is a tradition in my family that started with my mother.  She didn't get her first full dozen roses from my father until she had a baby.  And when I was born he gave her another dozen.  In keeping with that tradition I never gave a woman a dozen roses until my own wife had our first child.  

I was home in July to visit with her.  Somehow I knew in her voice could be shorter than it appeared.  I trimmed her bushes back and in so doing found a Rose bush Dad had planted many years ago.  It had a beautiful pink blossom on it.  I cut this and took it inside for her. 

My mother was a simple woman with a simple and solid faith and lots of determination.  I have told my daughters it is not wrong to be stubborn, as long as you are stubborn about the right things.  My mother was a person who was about right things.  She spent her life caring and providing for her family.  

A rose if fallen.  Perhaps in the metaphor of a cut rose there is a truth to behold.  For the roses we give are cut from the vine and we know their beauty lasts only a brief moment.  But we hold them and appreciate them while they are here and treasure the memories when they are gone.  But back to that pink rose I gave Mom from Dad's rose bush.  The rest of the story is that he tried several times to eliminate that bush as it was a wild rose bush.  But it kept coming back.  

There is a great truth.  Death does not get the final word.  God does not permit it.  His Son defeated death and His resurrection is his sign and seal of a promise.  Eternal life.  Redeemed life.  New creation.  I look forward to it.

The words of her favorite hymn capture her hope and faith.    I remember her and Dad singing this on road trips and in church.  


There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be