The Perfect Rose

Sitting on the table in front of me right now is a gorgeous vase of roses, yellow with orange tips, that I received for Valentine’s Day. As gorgeous as they were then, they are now opened up and in full bloom and are absolutely stunning right now. Don’t believe me? Check out this perfect, unretouched photo of a beautiful Texas yellow rose. Is that not the most beautiful rose ever?

Of course, on my bedside table is another bouquet of flowers, I also received on Valentine’s Day. These flowers were waiting for me at the table when we arrived at the Mockingbird Bistro, in Houston.

First, let me show you these, because they are quite unique and very pretty:

These are what I see first thing upon waking up in the morning, the last few mornings.

You know, I complain a lot about my health, and while I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s not so bad to live in constant, horrible pain, to have flares that make me swell up like someone blew me up like a balloon–I guess I do have to step back and say this: I love my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d give a lot–and I do mean a lot–not to hurt anymore. However, working with what I have, I forget sometimes to show gratitude for the things I do have. For example:


~~I have the very best friend in the world who loves me and would do anything for me–has done anything for me. I mean, this sounds all cheesy, but there have been days when my health was worse than it is now, when she would help me shower, help me dry off, and help me brush through over 38 inches of it (did you know my hair is now 38 inches worth of red/auburn gorgeousness? More on that in a minute.) She thinks of the little things, like remembering my favorite drink and buying it for me when she’s at the store, or remembering my favorite snack and bringing it to me.

She bought me a cute big teddy bear one day, just because I giggled and said it was cute. His name is Bearly. But mostly, it’s because she understands me. I mean, she truly understands me, when, in this world, the one thing I’ve wanted and needed the most was to be understood. I don’t know what I did to deserve her, but I am grateful every day of my life that she is on my side, behind me when I need her to be, beside me when I need her to be, and sometimes in front of me clearing a path so I can walk forward without too much trouble–and I mean that literally and metaphorically. I don’t know how I managed to rank a friend like Buffy, but I love her and am so very grateful for her. I wish for everyone one friend like this woman, even half the friend this woman is, and you will be truly blessed in your friendships. I don’t know what I did before her, but I’m sure gonna make sure I never have to find out what I’d do without her!


~~I have a man who loves me. He is… well, in a word: strange. I mean, he just is. He’s a geek god, and he’s gorgeous and intelligent and amazing, and he loves me. He loves me. I mean, do you really understand what that means? I don’t mean he loves who I want to be, who he thinks I am, who I might be, or anything else. He loves me. This past year, it’s been tough on us. Hell, the past three years have been tough, with two of them spent with me in and out of the hospital and/or on bed rest. He never once complained. Not once. This past year, though, we’ve spent more time apart, it seems, than together, and that’s tough on even the best of relationships. When we do get to connect, it’s as though life is everything it’s supposed to be. We can still talk and laugh for hours about nothing or really get down to it and talk about the most important things. I know, with all my heart, if there were every anything I needed or even wanted from this man, he would move heaven and earth to bring that to me, if he felt he could.


~~I have this amazing dog, Jake. I know, I know, he’s just a dog to some of you, right? Well, I’ve had other pets in my life, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved them all and to me they were all my furry little children. Jake, though, is different. He just is. And he loves me. I mean, he adores me love me. It’s good to be adored like that sometimes, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a dog that adores me or not! He’s good people, Jake is!


~~I have two good kids, though one of my ‘kids’ is almost 23 years old. She’s amazing. She’s sweet, funny, clever, and kindhearted. I’m unbelievably proud of my “Big Girl”. She’s the manager of a large retail store, and she makes more money per year now at 22 years old than I made when I was 30 with two kids. She just bought her first house (from me… LOL), and she is still going to school while working full time too. Truly amazing what she’s accomplishing.

My son, the “Amazing Brat Boy” is, for lack of a better way of putting it, an ‘interesting’ child, but when I look at what’s out there in the world in the way of teenagers, I really can’t complain. He doesn’t drink, smoke, curse, swear, tear things up, lie (much), sneak out, party, steal, or do other things many teenagers can do. He will actually sit across from me with his laptop and tell me the things his friends online are saying to him, and he’s been known sometimes to put away the computer and sit and visit with me at the kitchen table over a cup of tea. I mean, honestly, what 15-year-old kid does that without being forced? He really loves me, and he’s always so eager to help me. When I was so bad sick, he was a little angel, so helpful, so kind, so bighearted. I am blessed.


~~I have this amazing hair — it’s three feet long. Yes, literally, my hair is over three feet long, and it’s this gorgeous auburn red color. I know it might seem silly to you to consider gratitude so deeply over something like hair, and I’m not even sure myself why it’s so important to me, but it is. I get comments on my hair frequently when I venture out in public. At the restaurant on Valentine’s Day, a woman held a door open for us and as I walked past and thanked her, she said, “Your hair is absolutely gorgeous.” She reached out and touched it. I get ‘petted’ a lot because of it. It’s very soft and shiny and when I style it instead of putting it up, it hangs in beautiful soft waves of curls, all the way down my back to my butt. It makes quite an impression. I’m grateful for it. (yes, that’s my hair in the pic when I had my ‘bangs’ cut!)


When it comes down to it, I couldn’t ask for life to be much better. The only thing I really want the universe to work on is: I really, really want to sell this novel I’m scouting around to agents! Get right on that, please, universe. Thanks!

I’m currently working on three novels simultaneously. They all sort of go together, but don’t. No, I can’t say more right now, but when I’m finished with them, you guys will be among the first to know. That’s another thing I love about my life right now too. I’ve been able to be blessed enough to work more on my novels than before, since I no longer am slaved to freelancing just to be able to eat dinner and keep the lights on. It’s absolutely amazing to be able to full immerse myself in my dream. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

So… what’s the point?

There is none. I’ve been thinking about all these things all day today. It was a bad pain day, and earlier, my blood sugar dropped–and no, I’m not diabetic, so that makes it even more concerning to me (we think it was steroid related, perhaps, since I didn’t take one today). I felt all jittery and shaky. Hate that feeling. But the pain, it was bad, and I was starting to feel a little bit sorry for myself. When I get like that, I try hard to remind myself of the things I’m grateful for, and these were at the very top of that personal list.

There are more, and then there is a ‘work’ list of gratitude too. Reminding myself of the things for which I am grateful never fails to make me feel better. I invite you all to try it. Also, you can read this forum thread about the things I and others are grateful for too – we call it the Gratitude Thread. Come join us and share your gratitude!

For now, I’m going to go. It’s nearly 4 in the morning and I really need to sleep. The pain is bad tonight, so sleeping takes a long time to come, and more than that, I fear waking. The pain is always at the very worst first thing in the morning. After I’ve been up for awhile, it gets better, but the first morning pain is a horrible thing to wake to. That’s why seeing the flowers first thing when I open my yes, or better yet even–seeing the smiling face of someone I love so very much–those are good things to wake up to, aren’t they? Just wish the pain wasn’t there too.

Anyway, sorry for the personal rambling. I just needed to… talk to someone, I guess…LOL I’ll share more on the ‘Perfect Rose’, something I’m working on, later.

Love and grateful stuff,