ANNA AND PETER
Anna and Peter lived happily with their children in a fine house, and Peter held a responsible job in the city. The harmony between the two was a source of strength and joy to each and of edification to everyone who know them. To symbolize their mutual love, Peter planted a rose bush. This flourished, and annually it was covered with glorious roses.
It happened that one day Anna accused Peter of gambling away a large part of his wages, for of late he seemed never to have any money on hand. Peter laughed and began to joke about the matter. She became furious and bounced out of the room slamming the door. Over the next few days, any attempt on his part to speak to her was rudely rejected, and he became very depressed. As time went by, they became more and more isolated from one another, meals were an ordeal and no longer did they enjoy one another’s company in the evenings. Even the children were affected by the growing unhappiness of their parents. Soon the situation arose where the original quarrel was forgotten, and a curtain of polite hostility developed, real communication between Anna and Peter ceased, and bitterness entered their hearts. And the rose ceased to bloom.
Peter became ill, and although Anna served his needs, she found she could not get close to him; she was not able to break through the crust of ice which froze her heart. Finally, after a brief illness, Peter died. There was an unexpected crowd of strangers at the graveside. After the burial several of these came to her and spoke of Peter’s kindness and generosity in helping them in their need. She hurried home, and found the rose had started to bloom once again. With bursting heart, she entered the house. Near the hall stand were Peter’s jogging shoes just as she had thrown them down a few days before.
She picked them up and held them close to her heart, and then wept as she had never wept before.