Sunday, March 21, 2010

My friend Rose

I have been struggling with the words for this post for over a month now. I have wanted to write so many times, yet I knew the words were not there. The words came to me on this sleepy Sunday morning thru the church service I like to watch on tv. The sermon was about death and dying. The pastor said so eloquently that death is not the end of life, it is a part of life and the bridge to Life after Life.  He reminded me that Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled." This doesn't mean that there won't be pain and sadness, but that we have nothing to be afraid of and that no one dies alone.

It is on this morning that I want to remember my sweet friend Rose. She was one of the kindest people I have ever known. Rose had the gift of  bringing people together. She literally never met a stranger. She lived her life with a drive and determination that few possess. Always trying to be a better wife, daughter, sister, friend and most of all a better servant of Christ. She was so dedicated to doing for others and I believe this dedication was a testimate to her love for Christ.

I met Rose when I started working at a bank shortly after college graduation. She was one of the people who really showed me the ropes. I worked there for about 6 months and was a terrible teller, although Rose would always be encouraging on those really bad days. I quickly found another job at an insurance company that paid a lot more money and encouraged Rose to apply. She did and we worked there together also. As a part of working at the insurance company, you first train for 6 weeks and are seperated from everyone else. It was a few days before Rose and I were able to have lunch together. I was so excited and prepared to introduce her to several people. But true to form, it was Rose who had several people to introduce me to. She was the person who always made sure that no one ever ate lunch alone and I probably met more people because of Rose than I ever would have on my own.

There are a few moments with her that really stand out in my mind. Like the time she told me she was having lunch with a friend and proceeded to tell me that she met the friend because they sat next to each other on a plane and ended up keeping in touch and became good friends. It just made me giggle because I have never met anyone else who made friends as easily as she did.

Or the time that Rose decided to make a citizen's arrest. We worked at the insurance company at the time and lived really close to each other, so we usually arrived at work around the same time. There was one day that Rose was really late, so I called her to see if she was okay. Keep in mind, we were adjustors for auto accidents. Rose told me when she arrived at work that someone had cut her off, almost causing her to wreck her car, so she followed them and called the police. I don't remember all of the exact details, but the operator encouraged her to not follow them and later after the person pulled over into a parking lot, she was encouraged not to confront the person. Well, she didn't listen. She told him that his dangerous driving was wrong and unsafe and that she was making a citizen's arrest. I don't remember what happened after that or even if I have all of the details correct, but Rose was always stading up for what was right....even if it was scarry.

I remember when getting to know Rose at the bank that she always talked about her husband, Justin. It was so obvious how much they loved and cared for one another and how completely devoted they were. They had met in college and married while in college. I was dating my now husband at the time and we had begun talking about marriage and just knew we would get married, but weren't yet engaged. Rose was the first person my age to tell me how wonderful marriage was and how it was one of the best decisions she ever made. This was such an encouragement to hear from someone my age. I came from a home of loving parents who had a great marriage, but rarely saw the kind of marriage that I hoped to have modeled outside of my parent's home. Rose helped me see on a daily basis that you could be ambitious and career minded without sacraficing a loving and devoted relationship. I never told her that, but I will always be grateful.

Rose was also the best party planner, baker, chef and crafter. She always had a new idea and shared it with everyone else. I was just anticipating the arrival of her first cookbook. I don't know if she ever thought about doing one, but it would have been amazing. It probably would have had healthy food and snacks in the front of the book and the back would be filled with the most decadent, sinnfully delicious desserts anyone has ever known. Rose was never threatened by others who were crafty, but she encouraged them to also be crafty and express themselves. She was just amazing.

Rose and her sweet husband moved to Georgia, then Florida when he joined the Air Force. She was so proud of him. I don't know if I have ever seen a wife more proud of her husband. We were able to keep in touch through the amazing technology of facebook and the blog world.

Shortly before Rose passed away in February, my husband and I had the pleasure of announcing to the world that we are having a baby. Rose was so excited for us. She checked with me almost weekly to find out if we knew the sex yet. I found out only two days after her memorial service that we are having a little baby boy. I know she would be so happy for us, but would be the only person in the world who would fully understand my tiny hint of dissapointment at not getting to try out the theme I had in mind for a girl room.

I have written all of these words in an effort to say that I will miss Rose dearly and think of her often. I know I cannot do her justice through a simple post, but I know in my heart that she will never be forgotten and that she made a big impact on my life. I know that she is in heaven rejoicing and singing with the angels. I can just imagine her making cute cupcakes for everyone and encouraging them to be creative and make some too. The world is a more beautiful place because of her and now heaven is too.

I want to finish with this verse from the sermon this morning. It is John 14: 1-4
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

I have to mention one last thing...Rose was always giving of herself in life, but in death, her organs were donated to several people. This is the perfect legacy for Rose. Now she will give of herself in the most precious life to others.


Anonymous said...

If Peyton was a girl, her name would have been Brenna Rose. This is a wonderful tribute to your friend.

Rikki said...

Beautiful tribute, Julie. I'm so sorry for your loss. My husband recently lost his 27 year old brother, who became like a brother to me when I moved here, to cancer. The verse you wrote is the same one we used for his funeral. People like her and (Buck) who are such life forces in this world leave the biggest voids. But they also leave the most beautiful reminders of how to live life and to carry on their legacy--to pick up where they left off. How did she pass?

Kristan said...

This was so sweet Julie. <3