Roses in December


“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December,” said James Matthew Barrie in 1922.

Think about that for a minute. What does that mean for you? When I first read Barrie’s words, I couldn’t help but think ‘Nan.’ 

So, if you were to ask me what my rose in December was, the answer would be easy – my grandmother, Jean Casselman. 

She’s the reason I get a little sad each December. I miss her. She made Christmas warm, safe, inviting, and fun. All the best Christmases I’ve ever had were spent at my Nan’s. And, I’m not alone.

We all have memories of loved ones who have made our lives better just for being in them. Holidays are a great time to remember those who have gone, but not in sadness or grief. They deserve to be remembered with glad and joyous hearts. They deserve to have their loved ones live life the way they would have, if they were still here.

And so, like Barrie’s ‘roses in December,’ I rely on my memories so that I might still have my grandmother with me, not just in December, but every day of the year.

I remember that she loved roses, the colour red, and Christmas in December. She loved gardening, children, and holidays.

I remember that Nan was the most giving and generous person I’ve ever known. She gave without expectation of receiving anything in return. She loved without condition. She listened and supported without judgement. She was my role model for what a strong, good woman should be.

Even more importantly, I remember the times we shared – good and bad. Like the time I turned 15. I had just gotten in the door from school and was leaning over to remove my shoes. Next thing I know I’m dripping wet and my Nan is laughing and smiling her mischievous smile. She said, “Happy Birthday! You thought I forgot, but I fooled you.”

Well, it’s my turn to remember, and Nan, “you may have thought I forgot, but I didn’t! I remember you each and every day.”

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