When I told Chelsie my “Mi Rosa” story after returning from my honeymoon in Cancun, we laughed a very good, good laugh.

I am emotional and sentimental at heart. We all know this.

Upon landing in Mexico, I was given a beautiful, light pink, almost peachish rose, and it is unquestionably, undoubtedly, the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen.  It smelled glorious. Its petals were buttery soft. I placed it on my hotel nightstand, and watched it bloom, day by day. It opened more, and more in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. I was in love with it.

Several days into our stay, my husband and I requested housekeeping service, and we headed out for another day of love and laughs, beach and drinks…another day of living it up. When we got back to the room, I panicked because I didn’t see the rose on my night stand. There were delicate pink petals strewn about the bed.  I started crying in an instant, knowing what had happened. Housekeeping had taken my rose (which still hadn’t even fully opened, mind you) and had ripped it apart, romantically sprinkling the petals upon our freshly made bed.

I’m a total girl.

And so, in my devastated, emotional, girly moment, I scooped up the petals and cupped them in my hands. I walked down the hall and found a woman with her housekeeping cart, tears falling onto the petals, and I exclaimed “Mi Rosa. Mi Esposo. Luna De Miel,” which was my white-girl way of saying, “My Rose. My Husband. My Honeymoon.” hoping that she would understand how hurt I was that she’d destroyed my rose.  She looked at me with a blank stare, two parts “I’m not sure what’s happening,” one part “Is this American girl really crying over a rose?”

I was.

Sharing the story with Chelsie shortly after we’d returned, whilst fully admitting how ridiculous it all really was, we laughed and laughed and laughed. She kept saying, “Perspective my dear…Perspective.”

It all really was quite funny.

It was silly of me to be so upset about my rose.

Or was it?

Chelsie goaded me to find perspective, which is something we need often do in life. Something we should probably do more often…put things into perspective.

But in hindsight, what hurt the most about “mi rosa,” is that it was gorgeous, and glorious, and I loved it. I watched it bloom, and held it dear to my heart, and in an instant, that was all taken away from me.

I wasn’t ready to let it go. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

I’d wanted more time with it. More time to enjoy it. To cherish it.

And now, it was gone.

I’ve had a photo of that rose on my living room wall for five years. It’s been my reminder to always find perspective in life. From time to time, I’d hear Chelsie saying “Perspective my dear. Perspective.”

Now, that framed photographs story means so much more in her absence.

It is analogous to life, and loss. As cliché as it may be, we must honor and cherish the time we have with those we love, because it is fleeting. And more often than not, loss comes when least expected. Hug each other. Love each other. And make memories, because that is all we really have in the end…and, it’s all we leave behind.

(Originally written March 17, 2017)

In loving memory of Chelsie Worth, who died unexpectedly at age thirty.

Sunrise: February 8, 1987

Sunset: March 10, 2017