They flood back in droves. Sounds, smells, conversations. My heart flutters, bordering on panic. I feel the buzzing in my head get louder.

The memories have been suppressed for months now.

Until yesterday.

Until someone walked into a school in Connecticut and crushed the hopes and dreams of a couple dozen families. Hundreds of lives — CHANGED. Never to be the same.

I have cried for them. I have cried for the parents who have gifts wrapped under trees and who now have to choose caskets instead of Wiis and Barbie dolls.

I have cried for me and my husband and my son and for the anger that fills my heart when I think about all the babies and children I know who won’t fulfill their potential.

I’m at a loss for words, really.

I’ve written many times about finding your Roses in December, most recently at Still Standing Magazine. Imagine my surprise when I realized that our climbing rose, that hasn’t bloomed in weeks, has bloomed during a week where we have had freezing temperatures.

It’s a reminder to me that life, like nature, is precious. We can survive the worst, just as the rose can survive the cold. But just when we think we can’t go on and that life will never look the same, we’re reminded that there is hope. It may feel far away, but there is hope.

To the parents and families who have lost so much… I pray that you have Roses in the weeks and years to come. I pray that you find some peace over time. I pray that you feel the love from people around the world who are wrapping you in their arms. I pray for your community, that it may heal and learn to trust again in time. I pray for your other children and the other children of the community, that they may grow up without feeling guilty about it not being them instead. For you I pray, as a mother who has had to choose a tiny casket and a mother who will never feel her child in her arms again. For you I pray for Roses. Amen.

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  1. Allie Gresham says:

    Beautiful Jana! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is beautiful, Jana. Thank you!
    molly recently posted..School PicturesMy Profile

  3. I can tell by reading this that these words just flowed from your mind & your fingers almost could not keep up !! I’m so glad your rose survived the cold….and you had a Rose in December ! I love you daughter !

  4. So incredible horrible what happened at the school. I can’t imagine what the parents and family members are going through.

    I love your post and the rose analogy. It is true, and beautiful.
    a.eye recently posted..Saturday Quote: CompassionMy Profile

  5. I hope it helps you to know that your words serve as profound comfort to everyone grieving over this tragedy. Thank you, Jana.
    Sandra recently posted..Your Supreme Architect Knows the PlanMy Profile

  6. Beautifully said, Jana.
    Heather O. recently posted..An Early Christmas Present {Giveaway}My Profile

  7. I’m sorry you have to feel this.

    I’ve never told you my rose story.

    I am not a gardening kind of person. I love eradicating weeds, but don’t have the patience to tend to living things that like to grow in icky dirt.

    When Carter died, it was spring. An incongruous beautiful stretch of weather for Dallas. For some unspoken reason, my husband and I decided to make some flower beds in our yard in Carter’s honor, something that didn’t fit with either of our personalities. Our friends were there in minutes wielding shovels, top soil, seeds, and time. We made 2 beds out front, and we put one in the back. Friends from Austin sent us a live rose bush. It was packed in styrofoam and liked to give my husband a thousand thorn pricks as he got it out and removed the styrofoam peanuts. We laughed so hard about it. It felt good to laugh.

    Those were the most beautiful roses. They were bright pink Texas Teacup roses, and we planted them in the back where you could see them from the kitchen table. They bloomed and bloomed. I read a bit about caring for Roses but not enough. And they still grew. They thrived. They were awesome.

    On the first anniversary of Carter’s death, our good friends gave us some yellow roses which we planted in the front. They grew so fast I couldn’t trim them fast enough. When other things died in that bed, those roses never got smaller or less abundant.

    So yeah, I get the roses my dear friend.
    Rosstwinmom recently posted..Wiser WordsMy Profile

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