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Thorns and Roses

Routines are important.  Routines give structure to one’s day, awaken one’s mental juices,  help jump start the morning.   One of the hardest things about adjusting to my husband’s death is the disruption of long established routines.  Most of our meaningful discussions came while getting dressed in the morning and eating breakfast.  

I recall a Al-Anon meditation that described alcoholism and addiction as being caught in a situation which seems to have no solution.  That’s exactly what the future feels like without my spouse of many years.  I am trapped in a situation from which there is no escape.  For years I’ve been preaching the power of gratitude.  Now I get to practice what I preach.  One thing is all too clear; focusing on what isn’t gets me nowhere.  Once again I am reminded “in all things give thanks”  which reminds me of an Al-Anon reading that stated “ all thorns have roses.”  

Yesterday was Easter Sunday.  If there was ever an Easter that felt flat and meaningless, it was yesterday.  I took little comfort in the pretty words about resurrection and other religious promises.  We did redeem the day somewhat by gathering for an upbeat Easter meal, but promises of heaven and the power of prayer did little to fill my empty heart.  So, here I am, the morning after Easter Sunday, mulling a phrase that does have meaning for me.  Every thorn has its rose.  

Everything has to do with perspective and expectations.  As my husband liked to say, “perception is reality.”  The issue isn’t whether thorns have roses or roses have thorns;  the end result depends on our perceptions and how we accept and approach life’s many inevitable thorns.  Instead of expecting life to flow smoothly and to live happily ever after, life takes on meaning when we can embrace life’s thorny challenges as opportunities to grow beautiful roses rather than thorns representing failure.  So here I am, starting over as a widow.  After only 6 weeks weeks, one thing is clear.  I can fill it with thorns or I can fill it with the roses I know are awaiting me,  even though, at the moment, they are still in tight buds.  

In all things give thanks.  

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