Tag: flowers

The Light… by JoAnn

Almost two years ago, in early January, a fatal car crash happened in my small town. In the early morning, less than a mile from our high school, a woman and her mother-in-law were involved in a multi-car wreck. The mother-in-law, unfortunately, was killed. This sad news spread fast in our little town. The victims’ names sounded familiar, but I did not know them personally. Or so I thought.

About two months later, I was shocked to learn that the elderly lady who had died in that January car crash was my neighbor across the street. I had noticed that there were no vehicles in her driveway anymore. I knew she had a son and daughter-in-law who sometimes stayed with her. I had no idea they were the family impacted by that horrific accident.

I didn’t even know their names. But the lady who passed was the only neighbor on my street who had ever attempted to be friendly toward me. Whenever she saw me outside, walking to my mailbox or taking my trash can to the curb, she waved at me. Her daughter-in-law did the same a few times. In the five years I have lived on my street, they were the only ones to do so.

Suddenly, the story of that car wreck took on a whole new meaning. It was someone I knew. Someone who had been kind to me. My heart went out to the lady’s son and daughter-in-law. I could only imagine what they might be feeling after such a nightmare, how their hearts must be broken. I have never seen them return to the home. Perhaps it is too difficult for them to handle their mom no longer being there.

Every single item on the outside of the house is the same as she left it. There is even a Christmas wreath from the year that had just passed, still on the back door. Her chair, which she sat in on her carport, is still in the same position. I noticed an open curtain in the living room that made it possible to see a light on in her kitchen. Every night, when I closed my curtains, I would see the light still on above her kitchen sink. It was as though she was still there, as usual. It felt a little eerie to me but sweet at the same time.

When Spring came, I began to wonder who would take care of the yard. The lady who passed had worked many hours in her yard to take care of the flowers she had planted all over her property. It is a big yard, and she had the prettiest flowers on the street. I kept waiting to catch a glimpse of the son but never did. Finally, a couple of gardeners showed up and started mowing and caring for the yard. Her flowers were the first to bloom and once again filled her yard with color. It was sad to look at them now, remembering how much joy they must have brought her.

Every night, for a year and a half, I would look over to see the light on in her kitchen as I closed my curtains. Then one night, the light was out. Finally, after all this time, the light burned out. It felt sad. It felt like an ending of sorts.

It will never make sense to me how life just goes on after someone passes. The earth keeps spinning, and the sun rises and sets each day without missing a beat. When a loved one leaves this earth, it feels as though everything in our lives, even the world, should come to a halt and recognize what has just happened. Everyone should stop what they are doing for a respectful amount of time. But that doesn’t happen. Everything keeps moving as usual.

I am sure my neighbor’s flowers will again bloom when next Spring arrives, just where she planted them. They will be vibrant and full, just as she nourished them to be. If I could, I would thank her for leaving them for all of us to enjoy. Maybe this new year, someone will move into the house and make it home again. It would be so lovely to look over and see life and happiness there once again.

Just Because

  A few days ago I received a surprise phone call.  It was from a florist wanting to confirm my address so they could make a delivery.  For me?  At first I thought they must have the wrong number.  But I soon realized it was no mistake.  Someone was sending me flowers!
 But why?  It wasn’t my birthday.  It was no special day at all.  Just another day through the week filled with the usual humdrum happenings.  The entire hour I waited at home for the flowers to arrive I wondered  who, why, what, & where.  Maybe someone is sending my daughter Robin flowers.  She lives just up the road from me and maybe they sent them here because they knew I would be home.  That’s it! Robin has a lot of friends and family that would want to send her flowers and she’s always doing kind things that bring an abundance of thank you’s.  I was so happy for her since she loves flowers and would be surprised!
 The delivery van pulled into my driveway and a kind looking middle-aged woman got out.  She went to the other side of the van and opened the door.  When she stepped out from the van she was holding a HUGE bouquet of the most beautiful summer flowers I had ever seen!  Robin is a lucky lady I thought, she’s gonna love these.
 I thanked the delivery lady and complimented her on such a beautiful arrangement and as soon as she stepped away I grabbed the little white envelope tied to the vase with a blue ribbon because the curiosity was killing me.  Who sent these flowers?  Much to my surprise, the name on the envelope was mine!  They were for me.  Little ole me!  Still believing it had to be a mistake, I remove the card and began reading…..”Just because… flowers for your first week back at work.  I hope your first couple weeks are going well!!  I love you…. Christine”.  
 They were from my middle daughter.  For her to send me flowers acknowledging the new job I recently started was just so very thoughtful.  She lives all the way in Maine and I live in Tennessee.  She is a Scientist and a PhD candidate in her university’s doctorate program.  She stays busy with her work and studies and we rarely talk.  We try to stay in touch using texts and quick videos that we bounce back and forth.  We have not seen each other in in over a year and that visit was because of the death of her father.  So, it’s safe to say we have missed each other very much. 
 I was thrilled and felt a big smile come over my face as I gazed at her beautiful flowers.  But I also wished she hadn’t spent her hard earned money on something so extravagant for me!  But I understood the sentiment behind it and felt the love she had sent through her act.  And I have enjoyed the flowers very much!   
 I have received flowers at other times from each of my three daughters.  They are always a surprise and something so loved and appreciated.  It has been a long time since I received flowers “Just Because”.  I think they are my favorite.  

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