Angela Grout, Author    

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Poetry & Stories

Red Rose Reflection

Posted by angela.grout@comcast.net on August 8, 2019 at 9:30 AM
That man brought those flowers. Paid cash and asked to be anonymous. He was a friend. A friend of hers from high school. He knew she was an addict. He always found her attractive and would have liked to maintain a relationship with her but she chose the drugs over him. Heartbroken, he went on his way and had a successful life in all he did, but always felt like a failure for not being able to help her. Now he was helping, decorating her lonely memorial service with multiple floral designs. Her daughter wondered where they came from, as she sat alone in the room with her mother's ashes. Someone loved her mother besides just her, and the drug dealers and the drugs. The daughter mourned with the friends from the AA. Those friends witnessed her stand before them week after week announcing she was back on track, even though she hadn't had a successful weekend without a drink. She wanted to. She had good intentions. Each week she pleaded for her sobriety and addiction to be in control but it controlled her. She died in her sleep. Her daughter discovering her in the morning laying in her own vomit and covered with track marks. She passed away alone, leaving her only daughter more alone. At the memorial service, there were no words that could bring her back. There was no mentions of any love for her daughter. The flowers stared back at her as she questioned her mothers love and actions. Those drugs took her mother and now all that is left is an urn on the table with a photo of her selfie. And flowers, so many flowers. No card message accompanied these flowers. No sign of where they came from but the fragrance is amazing, and the colors so bright. The red roses burst with their color within the mix of lilies and carnations and snap dragons. Mom loved snap dragons, often stopping to admire the garden at our neighbors. She gave me a red rose once. It was my high school graduation day. I pressed that rose and now found myself reaching for the one next to her picture. There would be no burial. I can not afford that. She sits on my mantle. The rose dried next to her. Some nights I yell at her. Some nights I cry silently asking, "Why?" I don't know who my father is. I don't have any siblings. No cousins to call my own and well her parents just disowned us after I destroyed their house because I didn't want to live with them. I wanted to be with my mom. Mom made it right. She got me back. She got a job and taught me to work too. We split the rent. Now I am alone. I know I need a roommate because I don't want to be alone. There is this guy, he might want in, but I am afraid he wants more than just a room. But I am afraid and along, and broke with only this home. Mom placed her drink on that mantle and now all that is there is what the drinks didn't take of her. That is not the mother I want. Two years have passed and now I carry my own daughter within me, I know how much mom did love me. For over twelve years she did. Until that guy impressed with her more than drinks! My guy didn't impress me with a drink, he carefully created a shrine to place my mother in so that he could be thankful that she made me who I am. His arms welcomed me, and his knee asked for me. All of me. The lonely, the scared, the mad, and the scarred. And I felt his love growing inside of me and realized it was a part of me which was once a part of the goodness she was for me. Thank you mom for bringing me into this world. I am not mad at you for leaving, just the why and how. I understand your loneliness and I know you were never lonely when I was with you. Now I am without you, and I look at your shrine and pray for your love to shine down on us now. Then the stars on the Christmas tree twinkled with a glow that led my eyes to the picture tucked under the urn. I forgot it was there, I put it there on a dark angry night, refusing to look at that selfie. I called her selfish, but now I know it is me being selfish for not letting my love for her show. I lifted the urn, and hugged the photo. With a light kiss on her lips I leaned it on her remains. After the birth of my daughter, my husband brought me two gifts. One was a small portrait of mom that he commissioned a painter to paint. All framed and ready to sit in her shrine. The other was a red rose.

Categories: Short Stories-Realistic Fiction, Experiences, Blog

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