This was 1987, I was 29 years old, and bereft over the sudden accidental death of my best friend, lover, and soul mate – a remarkable and successful, charming, lively, brilliant man with a steel trap mind, a telepathic connection to me, and more. Thirty- nine years old, he was in the prime of his life and in his love for me and Us.
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I was alone in a cold small town. Numb. A good friend from my law school days – Jack – drove over to simply sit with me. He was patient, kind, loved my many magazines of fashion and interiors that I had laying around the apartment at any given time, and best of all – he demanded nothing. Just gave me the quiet comfort of his company.
We sat in my sunlit apartment, he stretched out on my sofa, paging through Metropolitan Life. I don’t know why I remember which one he was perusing, and maybe here in 2019 I am wrong about the title.
There was a pile of magazines on the floor- no, that’s not important either – just a detail so you see the picture – and I’m sitting sort of cross ways in a nearby arm chair, blindly turning pages in another magazine but not really focusing on anything.
I was thinking of yet another this or that nuance of the loss of my love, how Bob had died, what all we had enjoyed, what all we had missed.
I started thinking, “Bob never got to send me roses.”
And in less than a moment, the room filled up with the smell of roses.
I stayed still and quiet, inhaling quietly. What on earth? No. Can’t be.
I’m imagining this. I breathed in again. A room full of roses. Soft but distinct.
I said nothing and kept up the pretense of reading my magazine.
Jack stopped reading and looked up not at me but as in testing / sniffing the air ‘I smell roses. Did someone send you roses?”
I stayed calm and a little detached, answering quietly “something like that.”
We kept reading. The rose scent faded softly away.
I told Jack what had happened – telling him my realization – and the near simultaneous scent of roses filling the room, softly but distinct.
He was stunned. So was I.
I also learned – perhaps Jack told me – or it later was known to one of us and that person told the other – that “roses” and The Virgin Mary had a connection. Neither Jack nor I were Catholic, but somehow this information also made its way to me. And that roses were a sign of love and comfort from Mary in times of great need and distress.
No matter what the source of all that rose scent filling the room that day – with no roses anywhere, none in sight, none delivered quietly and left on the steps outside, no open window, no forgotten rose air fresheners and no rose perfume strips in our magazines – it was the right comfort at the right time from someone who Loved me Very Much.
The veil between here and there is very thin, and Love moves easily through it. On that day it was Roses.