The roots of the stump passed right through where the rose bush grew. Collateral damage. I knew it would be useless to argue. He dug up the lush and beautiful rose bush and we stuck it in a barrel of water.
Finally, all the roots of the stump were out, leaving a crater about five feet across and two feet deep. Hans filled in the crater, carefully smoothed it over, planted grass seed, and covered the area with straw. He tried to talk me into ditching the now extremely sorry looking rosebush and replacing it with a nice store-bought rose bush.
No, I liked that one.
So, he replanted it for me. But it was not looking well, and we were all certain it would die before the end of summer. No way could it survive the winter after what it had been through. But the rose bush held on, just a bunch of thorny sticks with a few yellow leaves. The grass seed sprouted into a tidy patch of grass; the rose bush limped along through the rest of summer, fall, and then winter.
Then January. And a car crash. And our Hans was gone.
As I lay in bed now and look out our bedroom window, I have an unobstructed view through the space where the stump used to stand, where the petunia flourished, and the woodpecker visited. I can see all the way across the yard, through the trees to where Hans and his grandfather are buried. And, like the rosebush, I wonder how I will survive the winter.