Growing up as an incurable romantic, I was certain that when Prince Charming came along on his white charger, his arms would be filled with red roses. My tall, dark, and handsome prince would bow deeply, then shower me with the roses before sweeping me away on his trusty steed.
Indeed, I did find my prince. He was tall, dark, and handsome. But I should have recognized some flaws in my plan when his white charger turned out to be an Arabian bay mare. At first, I was so caught up in the excitement of love and marriage that I completely forgot the roses. Later, though, as daily routine dulled some of the excitement, I began to wonder about the armloads of roses I’d been expecting. Somehow, they kept eluding me.
True, at the births of our first three babies, thanks to some broad hints dropped throughout each pregnancy, he had remembered the roses—one dozen long-stemmed beauties each time. Then, with number four, his practical nature finally got the best of him, and he presented me with—a cactus! It was a big, beautiful cactus—but still I longed for roses.
Several completely flowerless years passed. Then, as I was about to resign myself to a life without roses, a wonderful thing happened. I began to see that roses are where you find them, and they don’t always have red velvet petals or long green stems. This prince of mine had been showering me with roses all along. I had just failed to notice.
One night, I was awakened by the sounds of a sick child in the room across the hall. I called to him, warning him to hurry to the bathroom. But down the hall, I could hear undeniably that he had not been successful. I hurried to his rescue and helped him bathe and change clothes. When I returned our child to bed, I found my prince on his hands and knees, scrubbing the hall carpet. It was only after we had finished cleaning the carpet and had returned to bed that I realized what a lovely rose my husband had just given me.
Since then, I have found roses everywhere. I love to jog, but my prince doesn’t share my enthusiasm. Still, he will take me miles out of his way to find a new route. Then he tends the children until I return home. It was also my nonathletic prince who gave me my beautiful new running suit.
I see his roses in everyday loyalty. He hauls my paraphernalia to every Relief Society meeting I conduct. I won’t say he has never complained, but there is always a goodnatured, lighthearted feeling in his teasing. This bouquet of support is one of lasting beauty.
When my father passed away, my prince again was there, with perhaps his finest rose. My mother was left with a big home and yard, as well as the everyday problems of living alone. My husband took responsibility for two households without a second’s hesitation. And he has done it in such a sensitive way that my mother feels his sincere love and is not uncomfortable or embarrassed by his care. Could any other rose have smelled as sweet?
When I was young, I foolishly prayed for a life filled with romance. But a wise Heavenly Father has blessed me with something far richer—a life filled with genuine love.
I thank my Heavenly Father, too, for giving me the maturity to recognize roses where I find them. Support, kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity may not be the kinds of roses I dreamed of as a romantic young girl, but as I discover and treasure each blossom, I become more grateful for this strong, kind, and gentle Prince Charming who showers me each day with roses.