Monday, July 26, 2010

Rosemary is for Remembrance

One of my favorite herbs to grow has always been Rosemary. The old saying is "Rosemary is for remembrance." I always thought of one of my very favorite clients, Rosemary, when I was taking care of my Rosemary plant in my garden. Rosemary passed away last night at the age of 99 1/2.

I got a call from one of Rosemary's sons this morning telling me she had died. Yes, she lived a full life. Yes, she raised a wonderful family of three sons and one daughter. She welcomed many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, over the years. She lost her husband many years ago, and never remarried. "No one could ever live up to him," she used to say.

I had the privilege of knowing Rosemary for over six years. When I first met her she was 94 years old and still living in her own apartment. She moved into a nursing home a couple of years ago when she needed a little more care. Although part of our job in social services is to teach our clients, Rosemary was one of those clients who taught me more than I could ever teach her. I always left with some great kernel of wisdom, some great quote, some wonderful teaching on faith. Born in 1910, she saw so many changes in her lifetime. She had an infectious laugh that always left me smiling.

She became much more than a client a very long time ago. She was more like an adopted grandmother that I had the privilege of seeing on a regular basis. I hope I helped her over the years. I hope I made a difference. But mostly, I am thankful for knowing her and hope she is now at peace.

She will be missed by so many. Everyone that had the chance to know her. The kids she taught when she was a teacher, the family she left behind. Even when we know someone has gone on to be with God, we still miss them. Even if they did have a long and full life. So, my prayers, my thoughts are with her family now. Especially her son, Tom, and his wife. They were wonderful with his mother.

I am positive she is in Heaven now. Finally, once again, with her husband, her sisters, her parents. She spoke of them often. I will carry her teachings, her laugh, her smile with me. She was a genuine, caring, beautiful woman. Rosemary is for remembrance - and never has there been someone more worthwhile to remember.