Tribute written by Papa for Chance, and read at his funeral
A WILD TEXAS ROSE
Twenty four plus years ago, while walking the pastures of life, I was searching for some of the wild roses that dotted Texas ranch and farm land, down fence rows, around trees and just scattered where the old farm houses used to be. They have become collectibles from all over the country.
As I was walking, I looked down and saw what appears to be the start of a rose bush. It was very young and new. What was it and what would it become? Was it going to be a climber, a crawler or just a single plant?
Each year I would return to the sight, to check on this little rose. Some years it appeared to be growing and others it was not. As the years passed, the little rose did some growing but started having some problems with weeds and other types of grasses which was holding it back from growing up straight and true.
More years would pass and I would find it broken down but trying to put on new shoots to survive. So after about 20 years, I decided we should give it some help by clearing away the weeds and grasses and feeding it. We began to see results from our efforts and looked like roots were beginning to grow. So we continued to nurture it with care.
Just last year, I saw a great improvements, but still it had not shown its true color, by flowering but the strong roots were still there.
Last week, I felt I needed to go out and see what was happening this year. As I walked toward the plant, what did I see? This tall stalk full of greenery and on top was the largest rose bud I had ever seen. Only one, there were no others. Oh, it was about to open. I stayed and lo and behold, in the bright sunshine, the bud slowly began opening its petals and before my eyes, it showed how great it had finally became. Oh, how beautiful and wonderful it now was.
I have been waiting these 25 plus years for it to bloom and there it was, as big and red as it could be. With its head pointing to the heavens. The wind was blowing it about like it was dancing. It made me so proud to see my little small plant now grown into this big, beautiful and strong plant.
But today, I return to my rose and I find all the petals had fallen to the ground below. Oh my god, what has happened, it appeared dead. Was it? Would it make a comeback? What was I going to do?
I inspected what was left and found the stalk was still strong and green, but my flower was now gone and we had waited so long to see it grow to maturity.
I know that I will never get to see that wonderful particular rose again, as it was one in a million. But maybe in each of the coming years, it will continue to bloom just one rose each year to remind us of that first one, that beauty is now embedded into our minds.
It will stay with me until I draw my last breath on this earth and join him again in the hereafter.
In honor of this once beautiful rose, I have now given it a name "ChanceTexania" as the most beautiful wild rose to ever grow in the wonderful State of Texas.
God bless you all, to have known this young man, who loved all and never had an enemy. He loved life so much and tried to live it to the fullest, having a goodtime doing it with all his friends and will always for now and ever, be missed by us all.
As you are all out and about in the future, as you see the new roses of each year, just look at them and say, how nice you look, but I once knew, the biggest and best wild rose that ever grew.
Written in memory of my oldest grandson:
Chance Wayne Wilcox
Born July 19, 1982
Went to Gods Rose Garden of Love
March 24, 2008
From your Papa, who did not get to spend the time he wanted with you. One of the reason I was retiring.
Dear Rose, I will see you someday in the future.
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