My Father’s Rose – More Than Just a Flower

A special rose

The Story Behind My Father’s Rose

My wife and I bought a rose bush for my father for his birthday on 15th May 2000, the year before he passed away. Because one of his favourite songs while I was a young child was “The Yellow Rose of Texas” we decided to purchase a yellow rose. It was originally a miniature yellow potted rose and was flowering when we bought it and presented it to him as a gift. It continued flowering for about a month before losing its petals. After that, it didn’t start to bud again until the 4th of May the next year on the day he died.

We took a cutting from the bush and planted it next to his grave after the funeral. The rest of the plant my wife and I took with us and planted in our own garden.

The mysterious thing about this rose is that it begins to bud every year around the anniversary of my dad’s passing and is in full bloom by his birthday. Then, it continues to rebloom spasmodically until after Father’s Day at the end of Winter and start of Spring(September in Australia). The strange thing about this is that most roses begin their major blooming season in the Spring months of September and October.

Also what started out as a miniature rose now has full-size flowers, probably as a result of it being planted in the ground. The blooms seem to increase in size each year. We believe my father’s rose is a constant reminder that my father is watching over us.


My Father’s Rose

My Father’s Rose

Although my father has passed away

His rose still blooms each year in May.

The year before his sad repose

We gifted him a yellow rose.


Wise words that my dad has said

Still resonate within my head:

“Never start or pick a fight,

But stand your ground for what is right.


Don’t complain about your lot,

Make the most of what you’ve got.

Girls should not be hit or harmed,

Treat them well and you’ll be charmed.


Take pride in everything you do,

Rewards will come if you stay true.

Greet your neighbour with a smile,

Then stay around and chat awhile.


Save all you can for a rainy day,

You’ll be prepared then, come what may.

Protect your family with your life,

Your children and your darling wife.”


To describe my dad as best I can,

In just two words I’d say, “Good Man.”

He was admired by all he knew,

His enemies were none or few.


The years have gone by very fast,

On May the 4th he breathed his last.

The yellow rose began to bud,

As though connected through his blood.


Friendship, gladness, joy, delight,

The yellow rose means all is bright.

The promise of a new beginning,

Forgiveness for our endless sinning.

Welcome back, remember me,

Is what it’s blooming means to me.


by John Hansen © 2015


The meaning of the Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose Bush


Throughout history, yellow has been closely associated with the sun, making roses of this colour excellent for cheering people up. Yellow roses send a message of appreciation and platonic love without the romantic subtext of other colours. The colour represents feelings of joy, gladness, friendship, delight, the promise of a new beginning, welcome back, remember me. (source:, Reader’s Digest)








John Hansen
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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBook of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" at Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years are now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

8 thoughts on “My Father’s Rose – More Than Just a Flower

  • April 18, 2019 at 2:45 AM

    John, this is so beautiful it brought tears. How very fortunate you are to have such a lovely reminder of all your father means to you. I do believe your father is watching over you and lets you know with each bloom. It is an extraordinary rose and so is your memoir and poem.

  • April 18, 2019 at 2:52 AM

    Thank you for your kind words Phyllis. I am glad this touched your heart. Yes, I do feel out loved ones continue to watch over us even when they have long passed.

  • April 19, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    John what a beautiful remembrance of your father. I too believe that our loved ones await us and also watch over us here on earth. The fact that the rose you purchased and then replanted not only on his gravesite, but at your home still continues to flourish its a living testimony of your Dad’s presence. I had the similar thing happened to my moms grave and my sisters back yard. She loved lilacs, so some were planted by her grave and at my sisters place, both locations blossom every year with beautifully scented Lilacs. Your poem and tribute to your father is heart warming, I’m sure he is so missed by you and yours. He was a strong and loving father and his legacy to you from a father to a son is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this John, it watered up this tired poets eyes.

  • April 20, 2019 at 12:19 AM

    Vincent, my friend, thank you for the very touching comment and for sharing your own story of the lilacs at your mom’s grave and your sister’s home. I am glad you found this a beautiful and fitting remembrance. My father did have a big effect on how I lived my life. All the best to you.

  • May 5, 2019 at 9:38 AM

    John this is a true and heartfelt tribute to your father. I love the idea of planting roses that will bloom every year rather than refilling the flowers in a vase. The emotions that your poem stirred while reading were feelings that I needed to revisit. Jamie

  • May 5, 2019 at 3:42 PM

    Hi Jamie. I am glad this poem helped you revisit much needed feelings. It is very special to me for obvious reasons. Yes, planting an actual rose bush that keeps flowering instead of a bunch of flowers was the wisest thing we ever did. Thanks for the kind comment.

  • May 12, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    I loved this John! Its been awhile since I visited but I remember when I asked you about your book and you suggested the Creative Exiles. I wanted to look before I leaped. Was glad to see Eric posting poetry. Once I purchase the book I’ll let you know and let you know what I think.

    Blessings my friend.

  • May 12, 2019 at 6:49 PM

    Thank you so much Dana. Great to see you visiting here, and I am sure you will enjoy the book but would love to have your feedback.


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