Dear Adriana,

You would like to know the mystery behind The White Rose. Let me share the story from the very beginning.

Once upon a time your grandma Joan came for a visit to Ontario from Newfoundland. She stayed with us for a few days in Whitby. During her visit we took her to Rainforest Café for dinner and to the Thousand islands for a boat ride. We all had a wonderful time.

One evening we took her to the miniature world of Cullen Gardens in Whitby, which is as famous as Niagara Falls as people from all over the world come to see it. While we were looking at the different colours of rose-bushes, I asked, “Joan, if you were going to be a rose, what colour would you choose?’

“I will be a white rose.” She responded.

And I picked a white rose and gave it to her. As she was putting it in her hair, I said, “A single rose is very lonely. How come you are alone and not with another rose?”

She blushed and said, “ I have been so hurt, and I have lost faith in men. I do not trust them anymore.”

“Joan, your daughter Bette Davis found me at the age of fifty, why can’t you find one at the age of seventy?” I was mischievous.

“She is lucky” Joan responded, “ She found someone like you who is compassionate and thoughtful.”

“ But I am not the only thoughtful man around. Your daughter is also very charming, intelligent and wonderful. You know we were buddies for 25 years before we started dating and I think that is the secret.”

“Secret of what?” she was curious.

“Secret for a happy relationship. To be friends before dating.”

“ Okay, let’s leave this subject and enjoy our dinner.”

“ Can I ask you one last question, before we move on?” I did not let her off the hook.

“And what is that?” She did not know how to stop me.

“If we imagine a tall, dark and handsome man who is also kind and trustworthy, what would be his name?” I was pushing my luck.

“What do you mean?” Joan was puzzled.

“We have to use our imagination. We have to dream before our dream comes true.”

“But I don’t understand what you are getting at?” Joan was losing her patience.

“I believe that there is a man on this planet earth who is waiting for you. But we have to give him a name before we find him. What would be the name of a man who would be your perfect sweetheart?”

“ He does not exist.” Joan looked sad.

“ We will create him and then he would exist in our imagination and like movies, if he can exist in our minds, then he can exist in reality.”

“ Why are you so serious about it?” By this time Joan was utterly frustrated.

“Because I want to see you in love. Joan, it is so wonderful to be in love. You know I am a poet and a romantic man. I want everyone to be in love. I hope you are not planning to join the Convent and become a nun. I know you are a Catholic.”

“You are funny.” Joan laughed. “ No, I am not going to become a nun,”

“So what would you call him if you found the perfect sweetheart?” I was persistent.

“I will call him Roberto “ and she burst out laughing.

Since that day whenever we saw a handsome middle-aged man we asked her, “is he your Roberto?” and we all laughed. She knew we laughed with her and not at her. She thought I had a great sense of humour.

            And then last week when your mom Bette and I went to for a trip to Mexico, we had an unusual experience. One evening we went to a special Mexican restaurant to dine. And when the waiter came, your mom and I looked at him and then to each other and started laughing. We laughed and laughed. Your mom laughed so much she had tears rolling down her cheeks. The waiter was embarrassed. “What is wrong?’ he asked.

“ Nothing is wrong.” I explained. “ We are laughing because you are Mr. Right. You are the one we have been looking for years.”

“What do you mean?’ he was utterly confused.

“ You are tall, dark and handsome and your name is Roberto.” And we told him the whole story about your grandma. After he heard the details, he started laughing too. When I invited him to visit Newfoundland, he asked where New Found Land was, as he had never heard the name. He had never been outside Mexico.

When I asked him how old he was he said, “ Sixty five,”

“ Are you married?’

“No, I am not. But I was. My wife died ten years ago after thirty years of marriage. She was a wonderful woman. She was my teenage sweetheart. She died of cancer.”

“How come you did not marry again?’

“ I never met another woman like her. I do not want to marry any woman. I want to marry the woman, the right woman.”

“Roberto, I know the special woman. You will be so happy with her. She is a Newfoundlander and she has a wonderful sense of humour and she loves music and dancing. She will sweep you off your feet.”

“And what is her name?’ he became curious.

“Her name is Joan and she is a sweetheart. She is the mother of my sweetheart. If you cannot come to Newfoundland, I will bring her to Mexico to meet you.”

“It would be wonderful. You can tell her that I love music and dancing too.”

And then he made the White Rose out of paper right in front of our eyes. It was awesome. He also told us that he was a musician and was known all over Mexico because of his love songs.

The last night we were in Mexico he played guitar in the nightclub. It was quite impressive.

Your mom did not know how to carry the delicate White Rose. She was afraid she might crush it in her suitcase. So I offered her the solid wooden case of my eyeglasses. The White Rose fitted in perfect in that case.

Now I am inviting your grandma Joan to join us to the next visit to Mexico to meet Roberto. You are more than welcome to join us. I am sure we will have a wonderful time. And then you will see your grandma fall in love at 70, the way you saw your mom fall in love, rather grow in love, at 50. And one day you will fall in love too. But remember one thing as a friendly advice. Become friends before you date someone. That is what I did with your mom. We were buddies before we started dating. That is why we are happy. Did you like the story of the White Rose?



P.S. The only thing I did not tell you was, that the White Rose reached Canada safely but my glasses got crushed and broken. But I did not worry. I am sure your mom will buy me six pairs of glasses from dollar store again the way she bought them for my birthday last year. (From + 1 to +3). Now don’t tell your grandma Joan this part of the story as she will feel bad about my broken glasses or laugh at me for using dollar store glasses and not buying expensive glasses like other psychiatrists. But you know I am a Darvesh and love living a simple life.