|Rosa 'Olivier Roellinger' 18 August 2021
I have written before about posthumous gifts. One blog was about a gift my mother received when she was a little girl.
The other blogs were about three roses that appeared on my front door in February. Rosemary in October of last year (she died December 9) ordered three roses from Palatine Roses back East. One was the iconic, for us, single yellow Tea Rose Rosa ‘Mrs. Oakley Fisher’. The other were two lookalikes to Mrs. Oakley Fisher but in different colours. You can see here Rosa ‘Olivier Roellinger and the other a pure white Rosa ‘Escimo’. All three were in terrible shape as they may have been left too long in a courier warehouse. The two lookalikes survived and are now nicely vigorous. Oakley Fisher did not. I was heartbroken thinking that here was a posthumous gift from Rosemary to me and that in some way I may have botched.
|Rosa 'Escimo' 9 July 2021
Beyond the grave - a posthumous gift Rosemary
Beyond the grave - a posthumous gift my mother
But I found out during the Vancouver Rose Society open gardens in the beginning of June that a nursery in Oregon, Rogue Nursery, carried Mrs. Oakley Fisher and did all the necessary documents so that they would ship to Vancouver. Four very small almost sorry plants arrived a few years ago I will see if next year I might have at least one of them bloom. Should it I would smile.
Meanwhile I am being hit by a terrible fit of depression. I have a couple of high points during the day. One is two walk Niño, my orange and white male cat around the block. The other is my pleasant obsession to do scans of the plants of the garden like the one you see here.
When I saw this bloom today in the bright sunlight I was
overcome with love for my wife and I felt her loss but at the same time I felt
close to her. Without smelling the rose I could imagine the lovely scent my
Rosemary always had. I smiled and I know that she was the first and best gift I ever had.
Now these two pleasant events of the day (there is another of settling down for the night with Niño and Niña on the bed when they compete for getting as close as they can to me) cannot wipe away a feeling so well described with three Spanish words. Two of them were words my grandmother taught me.
Enclenque: my abuelita used to describe something like a table with one leg not the same length. It meant that one was weak and unbalanced.
Tembleque: Its root is temblor or earthquake so it means shaky.
Desganado: Ganas is to want to do something. To be desganado is the opposite and it also applies to a lack of appetite and sometimes a wish to be left alone.
All those three feelings at the same time somehow take away any desire to watch a film either on my TV or at a theatre. It prevents me from wanting to ever go to a theater or dance production. I was always accompanied by Rosemary. And I feel the same about concerts. I do not listen to music at home except when I may have a visitor (seldom).
Rosemary and I used to watch Rachel Maddow and CNN because we wanted to know what “barrabasada” (another word my abuelita used which means a disastrous or awful action) Trump was up to. The news now is not funny in any way so I rarely watch the news.
Sharing breakfast in bed with Rosemary with our New York Times and Vancouver Sun was a daily pleasure. It is not so much alone and I find that I now read the NY Times more quickly. There is little in it besides art news that interests me.
I don't understand why it is that Niño and Niño are so clingy and why Niña, especially, stares at me with sad eyes. Like Rosemary did, I talk a lot to them (in Spanish). I stare back, and wonder how much of a human-like spirit they may have. I know that when I turn off my night table and that I will instantly miss the presence of Rosemary that at the very least these two will be two entities that are alive and I can somehow share my grief with them. They are a comfort.
And so scanning plants and walking Niño do distract me. My daughter Hilary says I must find new or other interests. Perhaps that will happen when I am able to travel again.
I do know that putting the garden to bed in the fall will be a sad situation and I have no idea if the hope of being alive to see it come back in the spring will give me the impetus to soldier on.
A funny P.S. Years ago my Rosemary and our two daughters Alexandra and Hilary and I went to Spain. We rented a car and drove to Málaga from Madrid. We passed by a little town called Tembleque. We all laughed because city hall was crumbling and leaning in one direction.