A lovely poem had come in the mail written by a friend in memory of my daughter, Darlene. But the thing that really caught my eye was the beautiful rosebud and stem that went the entire length of the paper. As I looked at the rose I felt a healing in my heart and an answer to a prayer made beside Darlene's bed when she was in the hospital.
My mind did a quick replay of several scenes. The first was the day I was talking to my sister-in-law about childhood hurts as we sat on the deck in my back yard. I told her that when Darlene was born it was like God placed a beautiful and perfect rosebud in my hand to care for and watch develop into a full blossoming flower. As the years went by I became over zealous and began to pull at the petals to help form the rose. But rather than being of help I felt I had marred the beauty of the rose as I looked at the falling petals. And realizing too late that only God can make a rose.
The next scene that came to mind was when I was holding Darlene's hand as I sat by her bed in the hospital. I felt such a closeness to her and as I continued to rub and pat her hand, she looked at me and said, "Mother, God told me a couple of days ago that this was for the healing of my childhood hurts." I expressed to her how glad I was and then in silence, I prayed that God would also heal my broken heart of the hurt and guilt in everything where I had been unwise and had brought pain to her.
As I continued to look at the rose, a scripture came into my mind. "Behold I make all things new." There were no missing petals. They had all been restored. The rose that had been entrusted to me was returned to God, perfect and complete.
My beautiful rose, Darlene, was placed in her Father's hand, August 22, 2004.
I would like to add that after the stormy teenage years, some of the wrong choices Darlene made worked later to her advantage in understanding and helping other young people who made unwise choices. She implemented a Young Mother's Program, Clinic and Daycare at a charter high school where she worked as an RN.