My dad has always been a romantic. He has often times brought flowers to my mother or presented her with jewelry and never seems to forget an occasion to give a card. So the story that follows is so characteristic of my dad that I wanted to include it in my blog.

Whenever my dad is honored or receives an award, he tells this little story. I have it here in his own words.

“This is a little story that I heard or read somewhere many years ago. I don’t know from where it came; I just know that it was not original with me. I wish it were. I only know that it has become more precious to me through the years; and i have carried it in my heart for so long that I now call it mine, even though I stake no claim as to its origin.

An old man was walking through a forest one day. As he paused to enjoy the beauty around him, he happened to glance down at the forest floor. There lying in his path was an old dry, shriveled leaf. He thought that he detected a fragrance coming from the leaf, so he knelt down and examined the leaf more closely. Sure enough, there was a faint fragrance coming from the leaf. The old man inquired, ‘Why, you old dry, shriveled leaf, where did you get this fragrance?’ The leaf replied, ‘ I have lain for a long time next to a rose.’

So…If there is ever the slightest hint of fragrance that comes from this old dry, wrinkled leaf, it is because I have lain for a long time next to a rose.”

My mom sits there with a beautiful, gracious smile on her sweet face and dad has to pull out his hankie and wipe his eyes…. as do I.

After an event where dad told this story, my mom, dad and I were exiting the building when my mom said, “Ed, you have got to stop telling that story….I have a lot of thorns!”

What a joy to witness their relationship and experience the deep committed love they have for each other.