A Simple Rose

Rose was the daughter of immigrants. Both of her parents, of Italian and Albanian descent, entered the United States somewhere around the turn of the century at Ellis Island.

She came of age during the Great Depression. Like many who grew up during those years, Rose spent a lifetime saving rubber bands, tin foil, twist ties, and her re-used Christmas bows were legendary.

She was a working girl during the war years, and enjoyed the bustle of a crowded war-time New York City. She met and married a serviceman at the end of the war, and they settled down to raise a family.

She had four children; her last a “surprise” at age 40. She nurtured and cared for each of her babies, and instilled a great love of family. They were a close-knit group, with extended family  close by. They spent summers at the Jersey shore, and weekends visiting the Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.

In the late 70’s, Rose and her husband decided to move to Florida, choosing Ft. Lauderdale as their new home. When the last child left for college, they sold their home and moved to the ease of condo living in Boca Raton.

The kids eventually married, and began families. After a long wait, she became a Grandma. She adored her eight grandchildren, and spoiled them all.

Traveling to see the world, and her grandkids became her passion. She loved cruises, shopping for bargains and cooking for her extended family.

My enduring memory of Rose is in the kitchen- pots and pans bubbling with her signature gravy (spaghetti sauce), and arguing with her husband as to when to cook the pasta. (Someone was always running late.)

This was a woman who adored shopping. She didn’t just browse, she searched for bargains at her favorite upscale department stores: Macy’s, and Lord and Taylor.

Nothing excited her more than to find an item that was on sale and had an additional mark down or coupon that lowered the price to under $20. She had been a bargain hunter for years, and often took her youngest son shopping with her on Saturdays.

Little wonder he grew up and went to work for a major clothing retailer. He apprenticed with the master.

About six years ago, Rose lost her partner of over 50 years, and moved further north to be closer to her two sons. She spent the next few years living a quiet life. She did not travel farther than her son’s houses to visit on the weekends.

In November she had chest congestion and went into the hospital. She needed more care, and was moved to a place with full-time nursing. She spent less than a week at her new place before being re-admitted to the hospital.

She never came back home. Rose died early this morning at Hospice. She had spent the last week there, while her children and beloved grandchildren surrounded her bedside.

‘Të dua’, sweet Rose.

Pjesa Tjeter Ne Paque

© annettealaine-2013


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