A long, long time ago,on graduation dayYou handed me your book,I signed this way“Roses are red, My Love,Violets are blueSugar is sweet, My LoveBut not as sweet as you.”We dated through high school,And when the big day came,I wrote into your book,next to my name:“Roses are red, My Love,Violets are blue,Sugar is sweet, My Love,But not as sweet as you.”Then I went far away, and you found someone new.I read your letter, Dear, and I wrote back to you:“Roses are red, My Love,Violets are blue,Sugar is sweet, My Love,Good luck, may God bless you.”Is that your little girl?She looks a lot like you.Someday some boy will writein her book, too.“Roses are red, My Love,Violets are blue,Sugar is sweet, My Love,But not as sweet as you.”
This month as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is interesting to note that the rose is not only a symbol of love but a symbol of discretion. Legend has it that Cupid gave a red rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to bribe him to secrecy over the dalliance of Venus and so the red rose become the symbol of discretion, love, passion and romance. Roses were henceforth painted on the ceilings of banquet halls to remind all gathered there that whatever was said there, should not be repeated which became the expression sub rosa (under the rose).
Another legend says that while Aphrodite was running to the dying Adonis, she was scratched by a rose bush and her blood falling on the roses turn it red. Other account says that Adonis turned his blood into red roses.
Whatever legend strikes your fancy, there is nothing in our garden at this time of the year but the florist and even the supermarket stores are selling roses grown in South America so there is no excuse not to give red roses for Valentine’s Day.
And how did Valentine’s Day get started?
A certain Bishop Valentine started it to replace the Roman festival of Lupercalia. There were several Bishops of Valentine but nobody is really certain as to who is the real Bishop Valentine. But whoever he is, the tradition continues and we celebrate this day exchanging gifts and greetings between our loved ones, friends, family but mostly lovers.
During the Victorian era, valentine cards were mostly decorated with old-fashioned roses. Even today, valentines are still associated with roses. For Valentine’s Day, red roses are arbitrarily the most popular flower.
There are several red roses in the market nowadays but I can recommend some tried and true varieties that grow very well in the garden. Plant some of them and give your Valentine red roses again in June.
Here are my favorites:
Firefighter – dark red rose
Ingrid Bergman – dark red rose
Lasting Love – dark red rose
Let Freedom Ring – medium red rose
Mister Lincoln – dark red rose
Olympiad – medium red rose
Veterans’ Honor – dark red rose
For the romantic at heart, here is a lovely poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796).
This year’s Valentine Day is different for me. After 46 years of marriage, what is there to give? Roses? No. I like fragrant roses from my garden. Chocolates? I like See’s Candies but they are not sold in South Carolina. Diamond? Not my kind of stone. I like pearls and colored stones. I want none of those things. Basically, we don’t exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day through the years. We both believe that we should give gifts whenever we want. Not just on Valentine’s Day. This year, I just want good health for me and my husband.
My husband has been sick on and off since May of last year. On Feb.1, 2016, I had to rush him to ER at Roper Hospital in West Ashley, Charleston because he thought he was dying and had a hard time breathing. A few hours later, they transferred him to the ICU at Roper Hospital in Downtown Charleston for kidney failure. His kidney was not functioning at all. Zero. He was in ICU for 5 days. He is still in the hospital. We are not rich and I dread to see how much his hospital bill will be when he gets out. I have no idea how we will be able to pay for it. Without dialysis the doctor said he will live 2-3 months but with dialysis he could live for a long time and lead a normal life. He will be on dialysis for the rest of his life.
I would like to give him back his health as my Valentine Day’s gift to him and that includes paying his medical bills. I would appreciate it very much if you can help me. I’m not asking for donation. Nothing of the sort. I’m asking people to buy either one of my two books available at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan to help me pay for his medical bills.
BAHALA NA (Come What May), a WWII story based on my father’s life during WWII. BAHALA NA literally means Leave it to God.
The Iron Butterfly, a story of a young widow with nine young children to support based on my grandmother’s life.
The little royalty I will get from them will ease the burden of my husband’s tremendous medical bills. If you cannot afford the paperback, BAHALA NA on Kindle is only $0.99. Everything counts.