By Connie Denney

Sometimes a story just needs telling.  As one keeps coming to mind, it seems its time has come. Within the context of the upcoming Father’s Day observance, now is the time for this one.

When Lindsey, my niece, sent a picture of a beautiful yellow rose bloom on April 29 with the text, “Been watching it all week and it opened today,” I was deeply touched. You see, it is not unusual for us to share thoughts on the anniversary of the death of her Dad, my only sibling, on the anniversary of his death from a heart attack just short of his 38th birthday.

This rose was blooming outside Lindsey’s Atlanta home. Seeing the picture brought back the memory of our texts a year earlier, when she had told me of a dream. That text read:  “I was just recalling a dream that I had last night and I didn’t know what to make of it until now. I had a dream that a red rose bloomed on my yellow rose bush. I was looking at the bush and the rose just appeared and opened up right in front of me. Can’t help but connect that to the red rose bush Dad planted with me at our old house. You may remember it. That’s where he liked for me to pose for my ballerina pictures.”

A flashback takes me yet deeper into my memory garden to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, when Lindsey’s birth was imminent. The young family was there for a bit due to my brother’s work. I went to be a part of the happening! After we knew she had arrived and Mother and baby were fine, my brother, my three-year-old nephew and I went shopping for a take-the-baby-home-in outfit. It must have been the year of rosebuds, as many of the sweet, feminine, soft clothes we saw blossomed with pink, or red, or lavender rosebuds. As I remember, we went home with more than one outfit and an affectionate name, “Rosebud,” for the new baby. Dreams are born.

Not being a parent, I cannot fully appreciate the challenges and rewards of answering to “Mom” or “Dad.” I can, though, see a relationship between the care and nurturing demanded of parenthood and that required for growing roses. Commitment and patience seem to be in order for both.  Then, there’s the pleasure of anticipation and seeing growth from year to year.  Both can give great joy.

Sunday, June 18, is the date set aside this year for remembering and honoring fathers. Certainly, fatherhood deserves respect every day. It is good, though, for time to be set aside for specific attention to its role and importance in individual lives, in families and in society. Regardless of their dreams for us or our realization of our own dreams, our fathers’ influences live in us.

In honor of all fathers…