Roses for a grave

My priest and I recently went to see an English theatre production of ‘The Mikado.’ The Lisbon Players have been around since the mid-1940’s. They occupy a small space in what used to be a parish hall of the Anglican Church my husband is now in charge of.
We decided our very best bet was to park in the cemetery attached to St. George’s Church and then walk around the corner to the theater. The cemetery is completely walled and not visible from the street.  Parking in Lisbon is brutal and this space is genius.

My priest unlocked and opened the huge steel gate and we drove into the cemetery and church grounds.   It was completely black out and we expected to be alone.  Then out of the shadows appeared a very dedicated church volunteer.   He helps out so much that he even has his own set of keys to the church grounds and cemetery.   He was carrying  a small vase with two beautiful pink roses inside.

It was 7  in the evening on a Sunday.   It was quite chilly outside… a night where I would have preferred to stay in with a fire and some port.   I asked the man with the roses what he was doing in the cemetery in the dark.   He said that he had been in Sintra, a 30 minute drive away, tending to his dead wife’s favorite garden.  He noticed that her roses look particularly lovely and he wanted to share them with her.  He is a young man, no more than 50 years old and his beloved wife was killed by cancer.

He was alone, in the dark with gorgeous roses.  Roses he just had to share with the person who cultivated them, but is no longer alive to enjoy their beauty.  I asked him to show me his wife’s grave next week, in the day light.  He was so pleased that I wanted to see his wife’s resting place.

As my priest and I left him to go to the play, I couldn’t stop crying.  This man loved his wife.  He lost his wife, yet he continued to romance her.  He knew the joy those two roses would have brought her and he couldn’t wait to share them with her.    I want to live and love with that intensity.  I want my people to know now, how very much I love them.  I truly hope that when I die, someone loves me enough to visit me in the dark with two simple roses, just because.

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