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Our Last Memory

By Catharina Pinheiro

Life is a beautiful thing. It’s the longest thing you’ll ever do. From your first breath to your last, every moment is as precious as a rose. For some, life can seem like an eternity. For others, life can feel like a blink of an eye. But despite its beauty, no life is perfect. Even roses have thorns.

For as long as I can remember, my grandfather made it his number one priority to always buy me roses as a child. He would tell me, “never accept anything less from a man.” He taught me how to value myself and to never settle for anything less than what I was taught by him. I always had fresh roses in my room. The scent would greet me so perfectly and delicately every time I entered my room. Whenever one bunch started to wilt, I knew another bouquet was already on its way.

I was 16 years old when my grandfather passed. But despite his sickness, despite his many hospital visits, despite his chemo, despite it all, he never failed to always have a fresh bunch of flowers for his one and only granddaughter.

Our last memory was shared in a hospital room. In his hand he held a single red rose. I cried as he shakingly handed it to me. It was the most beautiful rose I ever saw. With eyes filled with wells of tears, I reached for the flower and squeezed the stem as if I was afraid it would fly away. I squealed in pain. Thorns. My grandfather took my hand with concern and chuckled. He looked into my eyes and told me “Life is like a rose, don’t let its thorns take away from how beautiful it can be.”

I’m 22 years old at the moment and engaged to the love of my life. My room is once again always filled with my favorite familiar scent. I know my grandfather would love him. He is my forever rose.


Catharina is a 22 year old graduating senior at Florida International University as a Pre-Physician Assistant student. Catharina hopes to get into PA school soon and lives in Miami, Florida.

Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash (red rose)


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