Roses the color of the cardinals grace my garden. My peonies and mock orange are finished allowing space for the roses to move into the spotlight. These are not expensive, fancy roses with a guarantee. These are simple roses for the working class, purchased from bulk bins where they are stacked willy-nilly in their plastic bags. I found them on my front porch one clear, sunny Mother's Day as a tribute to my devoted mothering. I opened the card to discover they were from the "celebrity" husband-who-cheated-on-me, to cover his adulterous sexual activities. After I discovered his duplicity, I was tempted to burn the three offending bushes or chop them into little pieces and dump them in his gas tank. But mainly I hated myself for believing his seductive lies of contrition and his vow to stay with me, as long as it took for us to reconcile, working through our differences "even if it were ten years." It only occurred to me recently that believing his lies was not an indication that something was wrong with me. He has seduced more people than could be counted with his deceptions and half truths. It is more about him than it is about me. The compassionate, wise words of a friend convinced me to put the plants in the ground, water them, and to love them into life and abundance. My earliest childhood memories are of roses, and I have always loved them, especially the yellow varieties. I planted expensive bushes of Peace roses when each of my children were born. Each year I tend these bushes reminded of the bittersweet nature of our meeting. Like the darkest chocolate I savor their lesson without forgetting the circumstances of our first encounter. They bloom for all to see. Without judgement or demands, my roses provide inspiration for me and hiding places for birds, squirrels, slugs and worms until the day they drop their petals and sleep.