Monday, October 30, 2006

A little early for All Souls Day...

I'm stealing this very lovely picture from Another Monkey, but I hope he doesn't mind. It just reminded me of a standing, annual joke my mother used to make. Every year when someone would remark about the last rose of summer, she would start singing the song, but she only knew the first line. Then she would ask "Do you know that song?" and laugh. I guess it's one of those family jokes you had to be there for, but seeing that picture made me all weepy for her this morning. Five years after her death and I can still hear her laughing.

I guess that's a good thing. Most of the time when I think of her, I laugh. That was her one great gift to me -- a sense of humor. The woman was genuinely the funniest person I've ever known. One of the times I visited her in the nursing home, the lady across the hall said to me, "Your mother is always walking these halls and coming up with the funniest things. I said to her one day 'Anna, who writes your material?'"

That was my mama.

Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone,
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.
No flow'r of her kindred
No rosebud is nigh
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one,
To pine on the stem,
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them
Thus kindly I'll scatter
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow
When friendships decay;
And from love's shining circle
The gems drop away
When true hearts lie wither'd
And fond ones are flow'n
Oh! Who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?


Blogger D.B. Echo said...

Dee, that's a beautiful song. I've never heard it before.

Truth is, I had a completely different experience with this rose. The weather was cold and wet and windy; the picture was very difficult to take bacause the rose kept getting blown around, and the camera kept wanting to focus on the background. I saw this rose as a tough S.O.B., not just a survivor, but the last hope of the rosebush for this season. If every other rose had failed in its mission, it was the duty of this rose to succeed. It was operating under other-than-optimal conditions, but it was also operating without any competition. Succeed or fail, it would die. Everything dies.

But, dammit, it was gonna take a stand and try.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous siobhan said...

You must have lost your mom about a month after I lost mine. The advantage we had was that there was a lot of grieving going on in the country at the time, so we had access to a lot of good cathartics.

It's hard to lose a mom. Seems so damn unfair.


12:01 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home