Monday, July 20, 2009

Our New Rose Bush

When my sister Deborah's friend Sue departed Alberta for Manitoba, she gave Deb a rose bush that she loved and couldn't bear to leave in the garden of her now former home.

Deb thought that the very place it should be was outside the TH. Last Sunday she drove it down from Calgary and planted it to nestle in the embrace of the rock on our front lawn, a little wrought iron trestle its support. She sternly gave me instructions about remembering to shower it with TLC, and that maybe a little water now and then wouldn't hurt it either.

This is the thing about Deb: she is is a very brilliant, capable, informed woman on every level, and yet she has the most tender heart. She has a responsible job at Children's Hospital, respected by her doctors and colleagues and loved by her little patients and their families; but she still manages to invest so much into the lives of her own family and those of the people she loves. She is the youngest of six kids and we were hoping to call her Shauna Rose; but my grandfather prevailed, insisting that she be Deborah after his mother.

And as it turns out, she was aptly named: Deborah means honey bee; combine that with her middle name, Joy, and you get a clear snapshot of my sister. She's industrious, loyal, beautiful, efficient, provides nourishment of body and soul with a great deal of sweetness, and is both joyful and a joy to be with. She is strong and courageous, like the prophetess Deborah in the Bible. She loves God. She is thoughtful and seeks out beauty in her surroundings and in other people.

In case you think this would make for a rather vapid personality, let me remind you of the bee's sting: once I was talking to her about who knows what now; suffice it to say I was rambling. She started calling me "Kookamalu" in the most loving, encouraging tone. I was bathed in contentment, knowing Deb's penchant for affectionate nicknames. At the end of the conversation I said to her, "I like my new nickname -- what does it mean?" Her response was, "Oh, I called you that because it would have been rude to say just Kook ..."

Not long ago she sent me a "personality" test, during part of which you link a colour from the list with a person you know well. We compared notes after we had each taken the test and discovered that both of us had written down the other's name associated with the colour red. Red stood for "someone you really love."

I think I am going to name our new rose bush Shauna Rose. And I red you, Deborah Joy.

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