by Fyn -
Life is a circle and spring always comes.
|Of Roses and Daffodils
It had been a very long winter; cold, hard, dark and lonely. Autumn hadn’t been that much better. Now it was Spring again. Jimmy always loved Spring. It was his favorite time of year. Rose Bennet sat and then leaned back in her rocking chair near the front window. She liked this spot in the house. It caught the afternoon sun, yet wasn’t blinding. She could watch out the window and see what was going on. There hadn’t been much yesterday or the day before that, either. But then, she hadn’t been looking out much these days. It was more comforting to look inwards.
Rose was in a pensive mood this afternoon. She was feeling sorry for herself, and with good reason. Jimmy was dead. There was no getting around that fact. She didn’t like it one bit, but there was nothing she could do about it. She didn’t want him to be dead, but then, for the past six months, he had been. She didn’t know how six months without her Jimmy could have passed. She still talked to him every day. She’d see something in the paper, or hear it in the news and the next thing she knew, she’d catch herself saying, “Jimmy, did you see this?” or “Jimmy, come and listen...”
She closed her eyes and thought back to that last day with Jimmy.
Rose had come back from the beauty parlor and an afternoon out with Betty Grayson and Harriet Blanchard. The three ladies had had a good old time. It was senior citizens day around town and they had made the most of it; ten percent off their lunch at Camp’s Diner, twenty off their freshly coiffed hairdos and one hundred percent good fun exchanging gossip with the girls. At the ripe old age of eighty-five, you took your fun where you could reach it. Topping it off, it had been Rose’s birthday. Harriet had paid for lunch and Betty had gifted her with a certificate to the beauty shop.
Jimmy was down on his knees in the front yard near the lamp post when she returned home. He was a mess and all spattered mud from the hose. He looked like an excited kid with a secret instead of an eighty-seven year old man with his toothless smile spread wide.
“James Dawson, what on earth do you think you’re doing?” she’d asked him as she looked at the mess in her usually tidy front yard. There were rakes and trowels and bags, heavy bags, of potting soil and fertilizer scattered about.
“Just puttering about, Rose o’ my life,” he’d replied. “You’ll see one of these days. I’m leaving you a message.”
“You’re what? You’re giving me a message alright. Muddy tracks on my kitchen floor no doubt. You are too old for this, old man,” her voice fond, in spite of her dismay. His message lost in the mess, she’d hustled him inside and into the tub to soak off the mud and sore muscles she knew he’d get after lugging that stuff about.
While Jimmy had been soaking with Epsom salts, she’d had to mop her kitchen floor which was, indeed, covered in muddy footprints. There was no way her children were going to arrive that night to a dirty kitchen floor.
After the birthday dinner with the children and grandchildren, Rose and Jimmy settled into their bed, both of them exhausted from their unusually busy day.
“Happy Birthday, my beautiful Rose, I love you.”
“I love you too, old man. I’m eighty-five years old and I still don’t like the name Rose,” she grumbled.
“I know it, darling. But I am awfully glad your parents didn’t name you daffodil! I might have been calling you ‘Daffy’ all these years.”
“Oh you! You can always make me smile, Jimmy. I love you.”
“I guess maybe I’d still love you if your name was Daffy, but I’ll always love my beautiful Rose. Life’s a circle, my love. We always come back around." He’d kissed her nose, and then, they’d snuggled down to go to sleep.
Those were the last words he’d ever said to her.
Something caught Rose’s eye. It was a butterfly perched on the edge of the window sill. Pretty little thing. It sat there for a moment and then flittered off. Her eyes followed it as it flew and landed near the front lamp post where Jimmy had been puttering about that last afternoon. Her eyes widened and she smiled. In a sunny yellow ring around the lamp post, nodding in the breeze, was a complete circle of bright yellow daffodils.
That was how her daughter found her: She was sitting in her rocker, a slight smile on her lips and a daffodil on the floor where it had dropped from her hand.