This Saturday we wanted to share the story of Ernie Gehrke, a man who has inspired us both as a grower of beautiful roses but also as a compassionate man, who uses his love and passion for roses to bring light to those around him. Ernie is a retired Firefighter and Flight Nurse whose life changed drastically after a disability left him unable to continue the work to which he had dedicated his life. While his life may have changed, his energy certainly did not diminish. Ernie became an avid rose grower, with over 200 plants, and he personally cares for each and every one of them. Here, Ernie describes the joy roses brought into his life during a difficult time, “After becoming disabled, my rose garden became therapy for me, and it has lifted my spirits to see the colors and get compliments from the neighbors.” Ernie enjoys picking his beautiful roses and arranging them in simple bouquets to give to his family, friends and neighbors. As he has shared his roses, others have grown to love them as well, and one of his neighbors is now putting in a rose garden of their own.
Ernie is a proud grower of Heirloom Roses, and we have recently had the pleasure of working with him to put in an additional 250 roses into his expanding garden. Ernie has said, “You and your company have rescued me from an agonizing bed ridden lifestyle to one in which I go to work with my roses every day.” Ernie is an inspiration to us to keep working to bring beauty into the lives of those around us, and as he says, “There is nothing so beautiful as a bouquet of roses.” May Ernie’s story inspire you to bring joy to those around you through your roses. May Ernie’s story remind us to stay focused on the simple things in life and to delight in the joy they bring to those around us.
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