American

My roses and what they meant…

talisman rose, my mother's mirrorsI always thought that my roses could go with me.  The first ones I planted, I got from Jackson and Perkins.  I sent away for four of them and they came wrapped bare root, ready to go.  I’ll never for get “Pristine” which is a lovely white one.

I learned to care for them.

I loved in a tiny little studio that had a balcony in college and that is where they thrived, in pots.  That balcony couldn’t have been more than six feet by six feet.

I was in love then, with someone who brought me roses, freshly picked.

This one, the one you see in the picture, is a “Talisman” — it’s a very old variety — it dates from my grandmother’s era and it was her favorite.  I had one for years.  I still have it, sort of.  That same one.  Only, I’m  losing it.

Nobody cares, and my grandmother is gone now.

When I married I dreamed of my roses — the roses I was going to be able to plant in my garden.

I was putting down roots just as they were, or at least I thought I was.

The house had one from the 1930′s — an ancient red climber that has the most intense fragrance.  I’ve never known its name, and I have never seen it in any catalogue.  It’s one of the most lovely roses ever.

There were a lot of things I thought would happen in my life, and in that house.  The structure of the garden I built there, as all gardeners build a space is framed by three huge climbers — I put in Cecile Bruner, and also a huge old white Lady Banksia.

It took them years and years to grow as big as they have.  Maybe 18 years.

I’m losing my house, due to the economy.

I have to say goodbye to them, today.

And I have to say goodbye to the rose I planted for my grandmother.

Nobody can understand how much this hurts.

My mother passed away in 2002.  She loved all my rose bouquets, and so did my grandmother.  Well, the last decade has been the decade of hell.  The death decade.  And my beautiful house and my beautiful roses going are the last of that.

Yesterday  my mother came to me in a dream in the very early part of the morning.  She said “You are on death’s doorstep.”

I think that is true.  Maybe I am.  If I was nobody would care.  All my attachments are gone and all my illusions are gone, and all my dreams are gone too.

There is part of me that says, “hang on” or “prove her wrong.”  That part is whatever is Irish in me that came from her side.

So the Talisman is going to be blooming today.  It was 2008 when I uploaded this picture.

It was very different for me then.

It seemed like there was hope?  But, now?  No.

When you get married you have illusions about what that will be.

He didn’t care about the house.  He didn’t care about the roses.

That’s what I am facing this morning.

Part of me says, “stay alive.”  There are other gardens.  You can escape.  And another part says, “curl up and die.”

So it’s hard.

Very hard.

I wrote a short story about it.  Over at ERWA.  Here go read it.

It’s up until the end of the month.

Remember that novel so many of us read called “I never promised you a rose garden.” — I can’t even remember the author, just the title.  You know?  It’s like that.

He never did.

And now?

That’s gone.

If you want to help me?  I need some help selling my book.  It’s only $5.99 and you can consider that a charity project.

It’s a good book.  All the stories ran in the best places.

I really would like to move and find a place where I can have some peace and plant a few flowers.  I don’t want to die.  I don’t.  My mother?  I think she came back from the dead to warn me.  I really do.  There were never any signs until yesterday morning, and then that message was so clear.

My book Gardenias is my only hope right now.  For staying alive.  If you click on the link to the right, it will take you to Amazon.

If you buy the book?

I will be so grateful.  If you tell your friends, I will be so grateful.  Every story in it?  Is about love.

Thank you, from Adrienne

(who writes as Valentine Bonnaire, and who has lost everything she ever dreamed about).