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Voice: lessons about children from Mama Chuy

June 02, 2002

I took an appreciation for the horticultural field from my beloved Mama Chuy, from planting a seed in the ground to seeing some wither away for various reasons and seasons.

She would tell me stories as we toiled in the soil "Mama, why are these called amor de un ratito?" these roses like the morning sun. She responded they give us their love in the morning. When the sun goes down they go to sleep.

"Is that what happened to the rosebush over there?" No, that rosebush fell victim to a disease, she said.

"It was such a pretty flower, prickly but pretty. I wish it never had died."

"Well hijo, from that rosebush your papa and I learned how to take better care of all these roses here. We were prepare to better deal with the losses of other flowers."

"Mama, if I were a flower I don't want to be like the amor de un ratito, I want to be here all the times so I could give you and daddy all my love, day and night. (Spoken like a prophet.)


"Cheche, come sit here with me. Know what this book is?"

"Yes, you said it is God's book."

"Let me read a few verses to comfort myself and you. ‘He came forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fled also as a shadow and continued not.' Job: 14:2. … ‘All flesh is grass and all the godliness thereof is as the flower of the field … The grass withereth, flower fades.' Isaiah: 40:6-8."

Children are like flowers. They give us so much joy. Some flowers are more rugged than their counterpart. They require that extra care. One day they seem to be striving in full health next week they weaken.

What can prepare a parent from the death of their child? I couldn't never answer that question honestly, for I have never been a proud parent of a beautiful flower. Or weeds, for that matter.

The early departure of a beautiful rose that was with us a short period did make a mark in this world. It showed some of her classmates the value of life. It showed them how to organize a fund raiser. This is a valuable experience that is not taught in books; to help those in need, with your thoughts and nickels and dimes.

Perhaps years from now one of those students will cultivate a foundation, not to "raise" money when is needed but to raise before is required. Their sweet "fragrance" leaves me breathless.


El Centro

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