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The Lineage of the Rose - Part I

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posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:36 PM
Little Johnny Rose was a happy child. Just five years of age, he was rarely seen without a smile on his unblemished face. His blonde mop of hair swayed violently when he giggled at the simplest of jokes coming from the mouth of his grandfather, William. His crystal blue eyes penetrated the souls of every adult that had met him; often getting his cheeks squeezed by the larger than life women in various public places often making him blush with embarrassment.

Johnny was never cranky and almost always easily entertained. His hobbies included playing with toy soldiers (lining them and knocking them down), listening to his grandfather's tales of the war and later he often would march around like a soldier storming the beaches of Normandy saluting his superiors and crawling on his belly. The boy had never known his father as he died before he was born. Johnny grew up endeared to his grandfather and grandmother, Maria. Many times little Johnny asked his grandfather of what his father was like.

What was he like? He asked.

He was a good man, stubborn but good.

Do you miss him?

Everyday, Johnny.

I wish I could have met him, Pop Pop.

I know he would have loved you with his whole heart, Johnny. Now give Pop Pop a hug.

Hugs from his grandfather always brightened Johnny's mood, which was rarely in an upset state. As a matter of fact, Johnny loved to hug everyone and anyone, but his grandfather always had that special touch. The way his weathered wrinkled hands touched Johnny's face seemed to symbolize a transferal of age and wisdom to the young boy.

Johnny was also a curious boy; often finding his way into anything he shouldn't have. One day he found himself in his grandfather's room looking at his old war memorabilia. He searched through the chest where everything was contained and looked at his uniform and helmet and the equipment of his adversaries. Underneath a few dusty books and maps was a rosary attached to prayer card. On the prayer card was a man, presumably a shepherd, carrying a wayward sheep on his shoulders. The title said that Jesus would always protect his flock. Little Johnny Rose wondered constantly as to who this Jesus man was. Finally one day he ventured to ask his grandfather about the strange man as they sat outside by the enormous cherry tree.

Pop Pop.

Yes, Johnny?

Who is Jesus?

He is God.


Yes, God.

Who is God?

God created everything, Johnny.

Did God create me, Pop Pop?

Yes, God created you in his image.

Where does God live?

He lives in each of us, Johnny.

He lives in me?

Yes, he lives in you.

Where does he live in me?

In your heart Johnny.

My heart?

Your heart is where you learn to love.

And God is love?

Johnny's grandfather smiled and laughed. Little Johnny's blue eyes stared upwards from his lap. His stare was conceived of complete sincerity.

Yes, Johnny, God is love.

Johnny constantly tried to find out more and more about God and Jesus. He would talk to his grandfather about God all of the time he was with him and his grandfather would tell him of Heaven. One day they were walking in the peach orchard and Johnny had a question.

Pop Pop.

Yes, Johnny?

What happens when we die?

Well, I suppose we go to Heaven.

Where is Heaven?

I don't know, Johnny.

Is that where my daddy went?

I like to believe so, Johnny.

Johnny had no more to say after that, though he often wondered of God and Jesus. Months went by and Johnny's life was good. He had fun spending time with his grandfather and meeting new friends at the kindergarten class. One day his grandfather picked him up from school in his truck. As they approached home on the long dirt driveway to the farm, William looked over at Johnny who was looking out at the fields of corn.

Johnny, I love you so much and never forget it.

I know, Pop Pop. I love you too.

Johnny, never forget what I'm about to tell you.

What's that Pop Pop?

Always have an open heart.

Why's that?

To let love come in.
And let God out?

Not let God out, share God with others.

Share God with others.



The fall was one of good harvest for the farm; it brought in a decent amount of profit for the family. The ate what they grew and sold what was considered surplus. William could be found tending to the fields every morning quite early. He did this with a furious intensity; always striving to get the work done his way.

The leaves changed to different hue and eventually fell to the ground as the cold winds blew into their lives. It was a frigid, winter friday when Johnny was at school. His grandfather was supposed to pick him up from school on this particular day. The bell rang signifying the end of the day and Johnny pranced elegantly out the doors with the rest of his class. To his surprise, his mother was there to pick him up in her car.

Where's Pop Pop, Mom?

Come on, Johnny. Pop Pop is sick.

What do you mean, Mom?

Pop Pop had a heart attack.

Is he okay?

They don't know yet, Johnny.

Johnny began to sob uncontrollably on the way to the hospital. He knew things were probably not well, yet he held onto hope. The perfect white halls of the hospital seemed to give a flicker of hope. Johnny thought that if they kept the halls so nice that the patients would get ever better care.

In the room laying motionless on the bed was his grandfather, whom he loved so much. The prognosis wasn't good apparently as his grandmother, Maria, muffled her weeping in the corner by his bedside. His grandfather, his idol, was stricken in a paralyzed state as Maria told Johnny to give him a hug and kiss.

Go on and give Pop Pop a kiss, Johnny.

To help him get better, right?

Yes, Johnny, that's right.

As they went back up to the room, they found Maria crying outside. Johnny seeing her visibly upset tried to run into the room but his mother stopped him.

Pop Pop! He exclaimed as tears ran uncontrollably down his cheek.

A few days later they held his grandfather's funeral. Johnny sat on a chair near the casket with his head down as though this was all his fault. No hugs from his aunts and uncles and cousins could cure the empty feeling that he felt. Suddenly, a group of veterans came in to view the casket of their fallen brethren. It became apparent to Johnny that his grandfather was just being called home; his duty was done. There was no reason to weep. A old bearded fellow, branding an army uniform, approached Johnny whilst fighting the sniffles.

And you must be Johnny, the man said.


I'm Thomas, a good friend of your grandfather

Nice to meet you.

Your grandfather always talked about you, you sure do look like him when he was a boy.


Oh, yes. You're a spitting image and don't forget that. You now carry the flag of your fathers.

I will try my best.

That's all you can do.

The man smiled and patted him on the head. It was at the funeral when Johnny felt the need to salute his grandfather, almost wishing him a speedy journey home from his final tour of duty. He taught him so much in the short time with him. As the harsh snow fell about them and the somber sound of Taps played in the cold air, Johnny put the final Rose on his grandfather's casket. A fitting end to a life in perfect bloom.

Basically, I didn't write part II yet because I'm not sure if anyone would be interested in it. If there is, I will write what I have planned. Please don't be harsh :O. Nice comments/constructive criticism is welcome.


edit on 4-9-2011 by JoeDaShom because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-9-2011 by JoeDaShom because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 11:46 AM

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:43 PM
Little Johnny Rose was little no more. He stood ,now at the prime age of fourteen, five foot eleven and often towering over his peers in school. His blonde hair had now turned to a dark brown. During the past seven years, he had become a much more secluded boy. Society had that effect. If you do not conform, you will be shunned. Johnny Rose didn't conform and had little friends besides his closest ones, Michael and Jeremy. They were akin to what society would label as the “weird” kids that would avoid the rest of the pack.

His freshman year was a good one for the most part; good grades and success in baseball were the high points and my did it fly by. Before he knew it, he was a sophomore. During this period of time, he seemed to morph from a disgruntled boy to a handsome outgoing man. Confidence had that effect of a person. Confidence is how he became involved with the love of his life, Emily. He had often seen her around school carrying her books with her beautiful locks of brown hair careening from side to side. One day, he began talking to her and that friendship led to a relationship. She was the piece to his puzzle that he was missing since his grandfather had died.

He shared many moments with the girl of his dreams, always striving to make her completely happy during his junior and senior years. At her basketball games, he would paint his midsection with her number in blue and gold, the school's color. At the prom he extravagantly took her with his grandfather's 1970 Ford Mustang, which was entrusted to him. That night, they made love for the first and ultimately the last time. She was perfect and he loved her.

The Monday after the prom, which was held always on a Friday, he awoke to his mother in an angry trance. She was angry with him for not taking care of his room and leaving a mess for her to clean up.

Johnny, you need to get perspective in your life. This is a minor thing and you aren't taking care of it.

If it's minor then why are you yelling?

Responsibility, get some.

I hate you!

You don't mean that, Johnny. I'm only trying to help you.

No. No, you're not. Ever since Pop Pop has died, all you do is yell at me.

Johnny, you know that's not true.

Yes it is. I just wish I was dead.

After he said that, he immediately got dressed and got ready for school. It was, fortunately, a short day for seniors, who went in just to practice for graduation. He pulled out and went on his way. He took the mountain road, where he often avoided much traffic. It was a windy road littered with potholes and obstacles such as downed trees and rocks sprinkled everywhere, yet it avoided traffic and that was good enough for Johnny.

As he neared the turnoff, he approached a sharp turn where one should take it very slowly. As he approached, something happened. A white light. He struggled to keep conscious despite the various voices he heard.

Clear! Shouted one voice.

Stay with me son! Exclaimed another.

It's okay, Johnny. It'll be all over soon, said a familiar voice.

It was almost like he was in a river's rapids and a waterfall was coming up. He wanted to stay yet the rapids were too strong. He tried to wade and wade his way back to life but the water took him away. Over the waterfall he went and all went to pitch black.

He realized that it was over, life was gone from his body. Was this what happened when we died? He thought. Was this all there was? Nothingness? Then he heard the frantic hollers of what he gets were emergency medical technicians.

Let go, Johnny, the familiar voice said again.

I can't... I just can't, he whimpered.

You must. Let go. It will be alright.

As soon as the voice said that, he seemed at peace. He let go of all that kept him alive. He accepted his fate and came to the point where he felt of despair. He then heard a noise, that familiar noise. What was it? Crickets. That's what it was. That orchestra that was synonymous with warm August nights. Then he felt it, the feeling of someone's presence. And then his eyes were opened.

He was in an open field of grass that extended up to his knees. The grass wavered peacefully from the balmy breeze. In the middle of the field was the flickering of a campfire. The sky seemed so bright from the stars that numerously checkered the opaque infinity. He proceeded onward to the light in the field.

A young man sat by his lonesome on a strongly made log. He was dressed in an army uniform; it was clean and perfectly pressed. The man had dark brown hair as far as Johnny could tell. He looked worried about something; as though he was looking for something in the distant darkness. Johnny crept up upon the campfire stealthily.

Hello? Johnny said.

Who are you? Johnny asked.

It's me, Johnny. You're Pop Pop.

Pop Pop?

Yes, Johnny, he said. Johnny ran towards him and hugged him. The warm embrace of Johnny's grandfather still had that same effect on him, even to a greater extent. He smelled of sweat as though he had been on the battlefield

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:45 PM
for months and hadn't bathed.

Pop Pop?

Yes, Johnny?

Where are we? Am I dead?

Yes, you are dead, Johnny. You are now in the spirit world. I am here to guide you. But don't fret, you will soon be with God.

Why are you young? Why do you look different?

Johnny, I am in my purest form. During my time in the service I was taught how to be a better man. I was also courageous then. I am your guide, Johnny. I will help you get to Heaven. Take a look at yourself over in the water. Come, follow me.

Johnny followed his grandfather over to a pond at the edge of the field. He held his torch up to create some light on the water.

Look, he said.

Johnny went over and peered into the murky depths of the pond. To his surprise, he was young again. He had his blonde mop of hair and an unblemished face.



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 09:51 PM
Why am I not in Heaven, Pop Pop?

You must make your journey and purify your soul, Johnny. It wasn't that you were a bad person during life, it is just that you weren't pure when you died. Only the purest souls reach Heaven immediately.

What must I do?

Follow me and resist the temptation to stray from the path.

Johnny did as he said and followed him through the field. Under the gleaming stars and moonlight, their only guide was the torch that William carried. He led Johnny toward the obscure woods at the edge of the field. Miniscule lights flickered incandescently and perished almost as soon as they appeared. These strange lights scared Johnny as he turned to his grandfather's spirit and asked him what they were.

What are they, Pop Pop?

They are the evil souls of the dead, Johnny. Whatever you do don't stray from the path.

So they embarked on a journey through the woods. It was the only way to prove your worth in the eyes of God. Occasionally, the evil souls would brush by their spirits and bring on a shrill sensation, almost as though a lively breeze ripped through the woods. The woods were long and perilous, Johnny often stumbling on the stumps of uprooted trees in the darkness. Often the light of their torch would extinguish leaving Johnny to walk the path alone but his grandfather's voice still guiding him. Suddenly off the side of the path there was a noise of twigs cracking harshly. A disgruntled growl from his right came at once and the sound of running.

What is it, Pop Pop? I'm scared.

You mustn’t be afraid, Johnny. These are your trials. God will take care.

Johnny was scared of what approached. He ventured along a bit more and his steady walking of his grandfather was gone. Beside him now was the heavy breathing of a beast that huffed and puffed viciously next to his face. The beast growled some more as Johnny kept walking along the path.

Follow me, Johnny, said the beast.

You are frightened? Come with me there is nothing to fear.

I refuse to listen to you. You are a liar.

This provocation seemed to anger the beast more as it growled ferociously. Johnny could hear the dribble of its slobber flopping on the well-trodden ground. Johnny, quaking in fear, suddenly lost his footing and fell to the cold, hard ground. He felt the drip of saliva over him.

God! He cried out into the darkness.

There is no God! Exclaimed the beasts now in unison with a harsh laugh.

God! God! Please Save me! Johnny screamed.

I am with you always, said a powerful voice. Be Gone!

Precisely as Johnny had asked, God had done. The beasts were gone. He was now in the darkness, alone but unscathed. Now a dim light skimmed through the foggy woods. Johnny was almost to his destination, he could feel it. He plodded onward holding to branches and watching his footing carefully. He came to the place where the light shined dimly through. Evergreen trees and a thick veil of all types of ivies and vines blotted out the light. Johnny, with all the strength he had left in him, tore through the shrouded veil. He reached and yearned for light at the end. He finally penetrated the walls of the greenery and came to a bank with a river running directly in front of him.

Come! Shouted an omnipotent voice. Dip into new life!

Johnny was in a line with the many deceased waiting their turn to go into the water. Johnny was weak from his perilous encounters in the dark woods. When it was finally his turn to dip into the water of perfection, he felt as though he couldn't even do that much of an action. He fell, face first, into the water. Its cool presence enriched him with a new-found vigor and life. He passed the test and was welcome into new life. Johnny met the soul of his grandfather on the other side of the river. He was jubilant and proud of him for overcoming the temptations in the woods. Some souls didn't make it through and were lost forever as they had lost faith in God. Johnny enjoyed paradise much but one day he was given the job of guiding a soul through the trials: his mother. She had taken her own life over Johnny's death. Johnny had a great duty to bring her soul from the fringes of complete despair to the ultimate paradise. Only time would tell.

This is the end. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have.

~ Zack

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 06:37 PM
I enjoyed reading that.. Good messages, very touching.

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 06:38 PM
reply to post by tabularasa

Thank you so much!

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 09:43 PM
Great story thank you for adding it to ATS. S&F

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 10:27 PM
reply to post by Agarta

Thanks, Agarta! Appreciate it!

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 10:30 PM
Really enjoyed the story. Good contribution, S & F.

posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by Open2Truth

Thanks, friend! Appreciate the comment!

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