Lena Mae Rose entered this world on March 31, 1914 as the only child of Fred and Geniveve Rose in Gallipolis, Ohio. Little Lena's life was changed drastically at the age of four with the loss of her mother. Shortly afterward her father married a woman named Kate. Kate lived up to the reputation of wicked step-mother with both mental and physical abuse. Lena's best memories of her youth were summers spent on the farm of her uncle in northern Ohio. She had many happy stories of her days there playing with her cousins and uncles who were the same age. The family eventually moved to Columbus, Ohio.
In 1939 Lena's life was changed again. She married Frank Taylor, a union that was to last fifty seven years. Even though married, the name Rose seemed to stick with her. The nickname "Rose," as well as "Babe," is what most people came to know her by over the years. Rose and Frank had two children, Sallie and Chuck. Rose and Frank were wonderful parents with a solid devotion to family and God. Everything they did revolved around their family. Rose retired from Lazarus Department Store after more than twenty years of service. She and Frank worked hard and wanted to give Sallie and Chuck the things they did not have when growing up. The most important thing they were able to give them was a devotion to God and family. In 1981 they saw Chuck go to be with the Lord.
1962 saw another change in the life of Rose. She became a grandparent when Sallie and her husband, Paul, gave birth to Chris. Thereafter followed Melanie, Pete, and Shawn. Chuck and his wife, Eva, were to give them two grandchildren, Mike and Steve. After this Rose was to gain another name, "Nana." She and Frank were to become Nana and Papaw to many people that loved them dearly as if they were their own grandparents. Her grandchildren have many wonderful memories of their Nana. She also taught them many lessons to help them in life. Children often say exactly what they feel and mean. Many occasions Nana corrected one of her grandchildren after hearing the comment "I hate him or her." She preferred "I dislike their ways" with a reminder to treat others the way you would want to be treated. Nana would want all of us today to remember the lessons she has left behind.
We gather to remember this Rose, but also to celebrate a new life for her. The last few months were not easy for her. Not long ago on one of the few occasions when she was at herself Ted and Sallie were joking and laughing with her. Upon hearing Ted's laugh, she said "There's that laugh, I miss hearing that. We have not had much to laugh about lately, have we?" She had a wonderful sense of humor we all remember. She maintained her sense of humor despite the progression of her illness.
Webster's Dictionary defines a rose as a showy flower, or as in jewelry, diamonds and gems are often cut in the form of a rose. We want to hold on to loved ones as long as possible, but it makes it easier to turn loose when we know that person is in a better place with no pain or sorrow. Today our Rose is laughing again. Today God has a new flower in His heavenly garden.