Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Beautiful Rose

“Oh, look Alfred, the Antique Rose Emporium catalogue has come in for the spring planting.”

Alfred wandered in from the solarium, put his Bionic Classic Gardening Gloves down on the table and joined Mother in looking at the catalog.  “I wonder if they carry a fragrant rose like Chrysler Imperial or Sutter’s Gold; even a Mister Lincoln rose?  That would do very nicely,” said Alfred.

Mother had pensive look on her face as she continued to thumb through the catalog.  Finally she said, “Alfred, I was a little surprised when you called me by my name Rosabella the other day.  That brought back some memories that I wasn’t quite prepared for.”

Alfred responded, “When we were first married I always called you Rosabella, but when Jeremy was born, we began to call you Mother and it gradually just became an accepted pattern.”

“And glad I was of it, Alfred,” said Mother. “Rosabella is just so Sicilian, and it reminds me so much of things in the past that I would rather forget.”

“But, Mother,” said Alfred, “Rosabella is a beautiful name.  It means Beautiful Rose, and you have always been my beautiful rose.”

“Alfred, you have always been such a romantic,” said Mother, “and don’t think that I don’t appreciate it.  But I have to tell you I was originally very glad when you and Jeremy just began to call me Mother; it helped me leave some of those old things behind.  Besides that Rosabella Montrose just sounds so odd.”

“Well,” said Alfred, “it might help to know the origin of my last name Montrose.  You know that the name came from my ancestral home near Aberdeen in Scotland, and it comes from the French word Mont and Rose the flower.  You are indeed my Rose of Mount Rose, and beautiful you are, and always have been.”

            “Rose of Montrose does sound better than Rosabella,” said Mother.  “Rose of Montrose sounds very Scottish, but Rosabella reminds me of my background, and I don’t always feel beautiful inside.  In fact, if I think about it, it just brings old guilts to mind.” 

            “Mother, do you remember Father Goodfellow saying that there are four types of guilt?” asked Alfred.

            “Not, really,” said Mother.  Then, slightly embarrassed, she said, “I wasn’t really in much of a mood to listen last year,” then added hesitantly, “please remind me.”

            “Let me put it this way, Mother,” said Alfred.  “You are not guilty because of what Paolo did to you.  You didn’t choose to break the commandment, but your family, tua famiglia, certainly made you feel guilty, and your family was certainly involved in a lot of things you didn’t like or approve of.  It seems to me that a lot of your guilt comes from projected guilt and from vicarious or natural guilt.”

            “Let me think about it, Alfred, let me think about it,” said Mother.

“In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!  Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!” [Psalm 31:1-2].  

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