A Bisl Torah

Yellow Roses

My Nana insisted on the presence of yellow roses at her funeral. When I asked my aunts, uncle, and dad why she loved yellow roses, the answer wasn’t particularly significant. She liked cheery, vibrant colors. She thought yellow brightened everything around you. And somehow, yellow roses have followed me since the day of her funeral.

The instances are small but special. Pastor JP Foster sent me a bouquet of yellow roses along with a note of condolence. He didn’t know about my Nana’s affinity towards a specific color. On Wednesday morning, I walked outside to admire my budding garden. The very first bud to open is that of a yellow rose. I am not overly superstitious. But my Nana was. She would tell us to walk with our right foot forward. She would use certain expressions to ward off the evil eye. I am certain that she is asking me to see the yellow roses, as a reminder that she isn’t really very far away.

If you read about yellow roses, they were often given as a gift to those who were traveling on a long trip. You would gift them to wish the person a safe and blessed journey. Perhaps, my Nana is trying to tell us that she is ok. Her soulful journey has begun but like anyone that takes a trip, she is just one conversation away. Her soul will feel and see the imprints of our lives. Like always, she is listening if we are willing to speak.

In Hebrew, when someone goes on a journey, we say, “L’hitraot.” Not goodbye. Instead, see you soon. Nana, as I continue to see the yellow roses opening, blossoming through spring, I will remember. You are not as far away as I might think. Your soul is present, merely saying, “L’hitraot.” Not goodbye. But rather to all who love and adore you, that one day, we will be reunited—we will see you soon.

Shabbat Shalom

In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.

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