A Room Full of Roses

Thus, today’s court ruling was doubly satisfying. There is no purer form of justice than for lawyers who bring bogus malpractice law suits against other “good lawyers,” then lose and wait to be sued in return for malpractice themselves.

I tell this story to set the scene and mood for my Room Full Of Roses story, but also for those who may be cynical about the ability of our judicial system to dispense justice and for the many good judges and lawyers who make it work—and in this case a very good Hoosier bankruptcy judge named Harry Dees.

Joyful moments like today’s are meant to be shared. Of course my partner sons and I exchanged compliments for our success and shared our disrespect for the bankruptcy trustee and his road kill feeding attorneys whose neglect made it possible. We reveled in the justice of their new predicament as potential malpractice defendants and gloated a little about our part in procuring this successful outcome.

Sadly, this revelry couldn’t carry over to my evening alone at home. Marilyn had shared my disgust with these legal proceedings for nearly five years, but was not here tonight to share the victory.

Tonight’s toddy and a dinner with her at my country club would have been a perfect conclusion to this saga; but alas, I found myself alone in a melancholy mood with just my toddy and leftovers from the freezer— pleased and satisfied for the grateful help from the Holy Spirit and my Guardian Angel. Dinner alone seemed irrelevant; a bowl of my famous turkey chili made the past Sunday, topped with oyster crackers, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, followed with a chocolate sundae for dessert would still be a good menu for tomorrow night. Leftovers from Maggiano’s were tonight’s special treat as my spirits came back down to earth and fatigue set in as the toddy did its job.

Bedtime after the news was now the usual ritual. These routines were sustaining me. I was getting by very well on this routine with just a few occasional speed bumps. Take my pills, grab some juice and retire to my bedroom suite to read the Bible for a while, then pray the Rosary before bedtime—usually midnight.

I was dozing off with my Rosary prayers, recounting the day’s events and expressing my gratitude, when I smelled roses. Something like twilight anesthesia sedation had set in. Relaxed and nodding off, the room began to fill with roses. Roses were everywhere, every color and in full bloom. There were no stems, leaves or thorns—just thousands of magnificent roses suspended in midair and covering the bed, the carpet, tables and me from head to feet. The ceiling was sky blue with puffy white cotton ball cumulus clouds the size of pillows—and there was music. Barbra Streisand was singing her song Evergreen—one of Marilyn’s favorites, she played it frequently on her Steinway grand piano. The singing stopped and then it was just Marilyn playing the piano as I fell asleep.

In recent years I had brought home roses every week after I started doing the grocery shopping. Marilyn loved flowers, especially roses. I laid a spray of 100 roses at the base of her casket and I swear she smiled as I cried and prayed.

I was in bed this time, having fallen asleep too many nights in my sleepy chair, and I drifted off into rose heaven covered with roses knowing she too was happy and proud about today’s events. The Rosary laid next to my pillow when I woke up.

The next morning I went out and bought a dozen red roses and put them on a table near the piano with one less worry in my life and a comfortable feeling of financial security about the future. The ecstasy lingered as I ate breakfast on my patio in the morning sun.

This was not the last of my Rosary visions. The prayers continue, as does my Guardian Angel’s tender protection of my psyche, my health and my search for meaning to my continued mortal presence in this world. A few weeks later a widow named Friederike Thibault entered my life in answer to these prayers, but for now I existed in the solitary confinement of my grief.