Stop and Smell the Roses

About nine years ago, one of my best friends passed away.  My grandmother, also known as Nanny by many of her grandchildren, was unreal.

Any and everywhere she went, she left a beautiful scent behind that others wanted to stop and smell... She was a phenomenal woman who put others first and herself last.

No, she wasn’t fake.

She wouldn’t smile in your face and talk about you behind your back.

She didn’t make excuses.

She made you feel loved, which made you want to talk to her.

You wanted her wisdom.

So, if you heard her voice, you would attentively listen and hang on to every word.

She knew how to turn any negative into a positive.

And knew how to get what she wanted out of life because of her resilience and determination.

Her beauty went far beyond the superficial splendor of her rose pedals.  As a rose, her stem was grounded with an inner beauty that demanded the respect of any who entered her space.

I know you are familiar with family members or friends that possess these unique quality.

But one day, cancer was found in her body.  Surgery was performed to remove it and not long after her treatments, she began declining quickly.

Day by day, gradually my rose withered away.

After being victorious in so many areas of her life, this was one battle she struggled fighting.  However, she still demanded to fight this battle on God’s terms.  Even upon her passing, she had great faith to believe that God was taking care of her.

She was a beautiful ROSE that gracefully withered away.

She never complained about the cancer that was slowly eating up her body from the inside out, but took it as a challenge.

We would always sit down and talk, even before the cancer became a nasty third wheel.

During our conversation, she would try her best to hold back her tears and would say, "Bryant, it is what it is.  I have to live my life to the fullest.  I still have places to go and people to see."

Together, we would then awkwardly laugh.

As a young man, I really didn't know what to say.  But, I knew I was witnessing something supernatural.

So, what do you do when you see a rose?

When you receive a rose, three things usually happen:

#1 You stop to admire its beauty.

#2 You then take a big whiff of the rose.

#3 You delight in its smell.

I was blessed to see the rarity of this rose for 23 years of my life.  And I am still delighting myself with the smell her infectious spirit, which now lives in me.

This blog is not only to honor my grandmother, but all the roses of our world.  Men, women, boys, and girls.  This month is breast cancer awareness month, but I would like honor all who have survived or lost the battle to any form of cancer.

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If you have survived cancer, know that you are our heroes.  If you have been touched as a family member, friend, or even an associate; know that the scent of your loved one lives within you.

Our world smells much better because of our beautiful roses.  If you have been touched, please share your stories and share this blog post with others who have been touched by this devastating disease.

It’s not about one individual, but it is about all of us coming together for healing and restoration.  This is bigger than one person, so every team up an fight.  Start your fight today or continue to fight even harder by sharing on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, tweeting, or by email.


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