Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Rose For Sharon--A Tribute to author Sharon Donovan.

Roses seem to be harbingers in my life. Let me explain: In the fall of 1994 my mother-in-law passed away. The following summer, one single rose appeared on her normally flourishing bush.

Was God giving me a sign? Did this lone rose represent my sweet mother-in-law, now with Him? The solitary rose was the only bloom that appeared on the bush in 1995.

The following summer of 1996, a solitary rose appeared again on the bush--one month after my father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. I couldn't help wondering, if the rose was connected to him and/ or my deceased mother-in-law.

Days later my father-in-law died. After the funeral service I checked the bush again. I could hardly believe my eyes! Another pink rose flaunted itself beside the once solitary blossom. Two people who dearly loved one another, were now reunited.

Sixteen years have passed. My husband and I live one hill over from his parents' home place. Our yard is also graced with a rose bush which normally blooms the week before Mother's Day. I pick my mom a fragrant bouquet every year. But, due to unseasonably warm weather this spring, a single large bloom appeared high on the bush last week. I contemplated what it might mean. Was another dear loved one about to pass? I checked the bush several days consecutively; still the lovely rose remained alone in its glory.

The first of this week, I inspected the bush again. At least two dozen pink blooms had opened, surrounding the original rose, still in its glory. What was God trying to tell me?

I would soon find out. Two days later I received the news that my sweet soul sister, Sharon Donovan had passed from this world. I believe God sent the beautiful rose as a sign that Sharon would soon be with Him, enjoying the splendor of heaven.

But, what of the surrounding roses? Do these new blooms represent us, as Sharon's friends--the ones her sweetness and generosity touched while she dwelt here? Through kindness and love, she blessed many.

Sharon Donovan, I miss you. But I can't quench the thrill that mingles with grief when I visualize your newly-restored eyes exploring the awesome wonders of heaven--gorgeous flowers, streets of pure gold, glorious mansions, pearly gates. Beauty beyond compare. A place where there is no more sickness, no pain, not tears. A place where only good things exist---things like love, joy, laughter, and peace.

The once solitary rose still perches above the other blooms in its glory. Not only in my yard; I believe the rose, Sharon, now also graces God's heavenly garden.


Celia Yeary said...

Laurean--what a touching tribute to a true Rose of Sharon.
It's amazing how someone we've never seen in person can affect us so deeply--with their life on earth--and after they have departed. Those of you who knew her best will forever remember her as the rose among the thorns, in some cases, for most of us do have those thorns. She learned early on, it seems, that she knew her life would be different from others, and so she lived it to the fullest, trying her best to spread love and cheer.
She did that well, and we were all blessed for it.

Linda Swift said...

Thank you for expressing the great loss we all feel at Sharon's passing. We are not sad for her but for ourselves that she is no longer with us. She was brave beyond anyone I've ever known and her life was an example for all of us to pattern our lives after. One of her greatest gifts was to make each of us feel that we were special to her. And she lives on in so many, many hearts and minds. Surely she lived her life to the fullest and I'm thankful, as so many others are, that I could call her friend.

Danielle Thorne said...

Beautiful tribute, Laurie. She will be missed. God bless your roses.

Miss Mae said...

Very sweet and fitting tribute. I've mourned for her since I read the news of her passing, but maybe I'm only thinking of myself. I know she's at peace, and that's the most important thing.

Laurean Brooks said...

Celia, it's true. Sharon seemed to sense the need to live her life to the fullest. She proved that by the gentle way she treated others, even her wacky sense of humor. I laughed so hard reading the Author Roast and Toast comments and posts.

You got the feeling Sharon knew her time was short, so she made the best of it without complaining.

Laurean Brooks said...


Self pity was something Sharon never exhibited as long as I knew her. She was either born brave or won over self pity through her trials.

I agree; Sharon had a way of making each of us feel we were special.

Laurean Brooks said...

Thank you, Danielle. I miss her already. And you know, I may be afraid to check that rose bush next year.

Laurean Brooks said...

Miss Mae, Like you, I've mourned since I heard the news of Sharon's passing. I'm trying to dwell on all the fun times we had laughing, jesting--just acting silly.

Oliver, for instance, was a hoot. Ah, what will that butler do without her?

Paula Martin said...

A wonderful tribute to Sharon, Laurean. She will be sadly missed, but always remembered. Your roses are very 'special'.

Gail Pallotta said...

What a wonderful tribute, Laurean.
Thanks for sharing.

Laurean Brooks said...

Thank you, Paula. I think God has a way of getting His message across in various ways, even through nature.

Sharon's courage and zest for life are her legacy. She was today's symbol of true grit. I feel blessed to have called her friend.

Laurean Brooks said...

And thank you for commenting, Gail. Sharon will truly be missed.

katekindle said...

Nice post, Laurean. Interesting about the solitary rose. I see things of that sort from time to time. No doubt, these kinds of things are messages to us. Rest in Peace, Sharon.

StephB said...

Laurean, what a beautiful, moving, heartfelt tribute to Sharon. She will be missed. Her spirit was so open and encouraging. The imagine of the single rose is poignant.


Laurean Brooks said...


I look for things in nature as messages from God. When my father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer and given a month to live, I asked God for a sign that his heart was right--that he had no unresolved anger.

The following day God put a double rainbow in the southern sky. I could see it from my front porch. It appeared to arc over the spot where my father-in-law's house sat.

Laurean Brooks said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Steph. Sharon's heart was like a rose in bloom. Open and ready to share.