Posted in friends, journal prompts

Jocelyn’s November Rose

Jocelyn's Rose   Well phooey on this Word program! I think my friend is playing tricks from the other side. The above rose is an inked stamp on paper from the collection of stationery that my friend Jocelyn, and her husband Pete, made for us one year.  Pete developed lung cancer and died in June of ’98 at age 52.  Jocelyn had an aneurysm and passed away at 38, only six months after her husband. It shocked me badly, but you somehow move forward any way you can when things happen.

Below is a free write.

November 11th -13th can bring me up short with surges of emotion catching me off guard. When I think of how she passed away suddenly, I become quiet, slow and pensive, wondering what is beyond this life. She’s swimming with the dolphins in heaven-she is! And Pete is fighting fires and saving lives on the other side. I remembered the day when I looked up Joce’s natal chart calling her on the phone with, “I’m so sorry!” What, what? Tell me! I could feel her reaching for a smoke. “You’re a triple Pisces! Sun, moon, and rising.”No wonder the world can seem like such a crazy place. She laughed, and went outside to put more sugar water in the hummingbird feeder, and bent to water the roses.

Her knack for upgrading the funky business we both worked for, was uncanny…great organizational skills. But the owners were reluctant to get modern until years later when some young guys came in and pushed the topic. You were about the details if somebody made a mistake.  How that mind would work overtime.

And we would warn each other:  “just put the catalog away…”  to keep from over-spending. If we were late for work and she was fussing about how she looked, it was “put the make up away and step back from the mirror.”

How we loved filling orders at work. You in the office, I in shipping. When happy, all were smiling When you suffered the clouds became a gray deluge of sorrow. And the one time I convinced you after years literally of cajoling and urging and pleading… please go with me to the high school pool for open swim, please…you don’t need a bathing suit, it isn’t that bad,girlfriend, no need to be so self-conscious, we’ll have fun! She complied one afternoon-it was a Saturday. You pulled on some  cut off jean shorts and a tank top with a t-shirt over it. I know you didn’t like people looking at your body. Brave woman you jumped into that pool and did one dive off the board, only to have the sky darkened into a deep Payne’s gray, a lightning storm came along with wind and dangerous electrical currents. All were ordered out of the pool. Just wait until I can write it all into a cohesive story.  Burt Sue Jocelyn at Bountiful Gardens Burt, Me, and Jocelyn (1960-1998) co-workers at the seed company.

  Journal prompt: Write about the approaching holidays. What memories do you have? Have you ever lost a good friend to death? Explore the emotions, don’t hold back. Remember, in journaling there is no right or wrong.   Copyright © 2014 by Susan E Rowland        


I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

2 thoughts on “Jocelyn’s November Rose

  1. I’m so sorry you lost your two friends so close together. Remembering these days is a double whammy for you. Over all, your words sound gray even though they are positive memories of Pete and Jocelyn. The sudden lightening storm pervades the happy day you remember – like a life cut short unexpectedly.

    1. Bless you, Viva. ❤ The pool and storm incident was truly a "you can't make this stuff up" moment. There are more stories to add to that era of my life. I think we only have a few of those special friends during our lifetimes. They speak the same soul language and understand each other's sense of humor. I lost another pal a while back, an internet friend who was bipolar and survived a childhood that not many people would understand. I think my dear Jocelyn was undiagnosed bipolar. The theme of childhood trauma is one of the main reasons I write.

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