The Yellow Rose

My son David was killed on June 7, 1992. The grief was overwhelming. David attended a boys high school. His death occurred the day following his high school graduation, which the whole family had attended. I was always grateful that on the last day of his life he was able to spend it with family and friends. Without knowing it he had said his goodbyes. At the end of the graduation ceremonies the graduates presented a yellow rose to their mothers. The yellow rose became a fond memory of Davids last day with me. I pressed the rose into the family Bible. After Davids death, I would go to the Bible and touch the dried petals for comfort.

Our family started a scholarship fund in Davids name. Although it was stressful, every year I would give out the scholarship award. On Davids fifth anniversary I was getting ready to go to the high school awards. My thoughts were with him all morning. I opened the Bible and touched the dried out petals from that beautiful yellow rose he had given me the day before he died. I said a little prayer for strength and left for the ceremony.

As I got up to give out Davids Scholarship Award to that years recipient, I thought about the day David graduated. He was so happy to be graduating. The next day he was going on vacation to visit my mom in the Caribbean. We had a big party at the house. All the members of our family were there. The party ended and David went out with his friends. He did not get home until the early morning hours. His flight left at 7:00 that morning. He never went to bed. We took him to the airport, he boarded the plane and I never saw my youngest son alive again. Joy one minute to unimaginable grief the next. As my mind drifted back to the ceremonies, I remember most that yellow rose that David had given me.

After the ceremonies concluded, we all paraded out of the auditorium. The graduates started giving the roses to their mothers. The roses on this year were again yellow. I left quickly before the tears started flowing. My heart was so full I didnt want to start crying in front of everybody. As I waited for my husband to pick me up in front of the school, a car pulled up in front of me. A graduate stepped out with a yellow rose in his hand. I would like to give you this rose for your son David, if that is OK. I thanked him as my eyes filled up with tears. I knew that David was always looking out for me. Maybe he heard my prayers that morning and wanted to send me a message through this young man. It is a lovely thought that sustains me in the dark days that might hit all of us when we least expect it. I look forward to giving out the scholarship because of the lovely memory of David and that fine young man with the yellow rose.

– Marge Spence lost her son David Spence, 17, aboard American Eagle Airlines

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