Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston: Flowers from a dogwood tree


By Rosie Preston

It’s been almost a year since most of our population heard about the strange and often deadly COVID-19 virus. By now, most of us have had a personal experience with it. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was going to journal about it. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turned into months, however, there was no way I could write about other people’s experiences. It seemed further away from our loved ones if we could somehow put it in the backroom of our homes.

Many of you reading this column may be too young to know what used to happen when there was a family member who was mentally or physically impaired in some way. I remember going with my grandmother as we visited her friends. Tt was scary and it seemed taboo in knowing someone confined to a bed, especially if that person called out for help while we were there. Back in those days, I don’t think nursing homes were as available as they are now.

So I cannot write about the virus, because everyone’s story is the same – my family member or friend got sick and went into the hospital and waited for the outcome. It was a horrible experience, and yet most of you understand that there is always hope, because we have a belief system that will give us the strength to go on, no matter what the outcome might be. The sick person would pass away but many of our younger loved ones were healthy enough to somehow survive the illness.

Just since my mother’s passing, I’ve heard the same words so many times, and it’s if you don’t know what to say after a while. So many of my family members and friends have passed away, or I have someone who is struggling with the illness the way we feel can be felt in our hearts. The shame of it all is that it’s not over. Where do we go from here? Hopefully, we’ll go forward with vaccines that will work.

I recently found another poem written by my mother many years ago. I hope we all feel a ray of sunshine and a light at the end of this tunnel and that we can support each other through these difficult times.

Flowers from a dogwood tree

By Shirley Preston

“Once I had some flowers gave to me

Dogwood branches from a tree

With blooming blossoms

Brought, Just for me.

He climbed a deep ravine to pursue

For the flowers, on a hillside grew,

And with a smile in his eyes

handed me the gift, and sighed.

I kissed each blossom, separately

And he asked me if I knew

The Story of the Dogwood Tree

We sat and talked about God and Life

I do know one thing for sure

the feelings that we shared

that day, he gave to me

Flowers from a dogwood tree.”

Keep Smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at

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