As we travel down life's path we meet all kinds of people. They are like characters in a play, the play that we produce, direct and are the star. Some people play the leading role, some have bit parts. Some leave lasting impressions, some we forget right away.
I'd like to introduce you to someone whom I met, knew I could love and then she was gone. Bit part.... no, I don't think so. This woman's role wove itself around and around my life although she was far away in heaven. That was my mother-in-law, Mary Lena. She passed away just one month before Elbert and I were married.
Through the love that I saw in Elbert for his mother (and the stories that he told) I came to know this woman. Elbert was the oldest of 11 children. As soon as he was big enough he helped his Mom with everything and those two grew very close. She taught him the values that I so cherished in my husband. Kindness, honesty, hard work, love and the ability to laugh even when things were bad.
Mary Lena died over 60 years ago and I am so fortunate that I got to meet her while she was still on this earth. You ask how her rose has lasted so long? Oh, that in itself is a miracle. Before 1950 a cousin got a cutting off the master plant. When Elbert and I moved to Alabama in 1969 I got a cutting off that cutting. In 1999 it was time to move to Virginia. We sure weren't going to leave Mary Lena's rose behind so we dug 4 of them up and transplanted them in Virginia soil. Now, Elbert nor I neither one know a blasted thing about growing roses and two of the bushes died. But, I have two left and just look at this one............