A -Flowering I Will Go
I never thought much about flowers and certainly never intended to become The Flower Lady. My daughter works for a non-profit organization and Trader Joe’s donated flowers for their AIDS fundraiser event. The clerk asked Kristen if she knew of any hospitals or nursing homes that might want their “day-old” flowers.
The thought of tossing beautiful flowers away at the end of the day got me thinking, “What if I stopped over there every morning and then made the rounds of local nursing homes to pass out bouquets of pansies, orchids, roses and sunflowers?”
I reckoned that the surprise gift of flowers might be a tonic for someone feeling lonely, restless or worried.
Bright and early, I arrived at the store and Emily gave me 60 bouquets placed in buckets with water to keep them fresh. I went to a nursing home in Germantown. Mission accomplished – given away within an hour.
I was so excited that I drove back downtown to retrieve another 60 bouquets that did not fit in my car for the first delivery.
A lady was lying in her bed. I walked into the room and said, Would you like some flowers? She looked up startled. Her eyes seem to fly open.
I’ve always wanted someone to give me flowers. You are my Sunshine for bringing these to me.
Oh, my mouth cannot close. I am so happy. I just keep saying ‘Oh my! Oh my! Because when you get flowers it means that someone cares about you.
Did you grow them in your garden?
Do men get flowers too? Wow, that is great. My wife is coming to visit in a few minutes. She has a heart of gold. And now I can give her these gold sunflowers!
I am going to pretend that I bought them.
My heart melted as I pictured him surprising her with flowers. He. winked with amusement
I don’t want any. I don’t have any money to pay you. You mean they are free. Who are you, dear? Why are you bringing me flowers?
I didn’t think it was going to be a good day and then this happens. You are giving me these beautiful flowers, really?
She looked surprised. Her eyes crinkled….and I saw tear-filled eyes.
I am feeling desperately homesick. I have been in and out of hospitals and now here for rehab. I just want to go home. I would love the white roses. I have company coming.
Miss, what you just did for us, bringing flowers to everyone, means more than if you came in and gave us a hundred dollars.
He hugged me and I hugged back.
Are you from my church? I go to the one at the bottom of the hill.
A frail lady in her 80’s said, Can you help find my father? I want to talk to him. My mother passed away yesterday and I can bring the flowers to her funeral.
Of course, the dementia blurred her reality. I just smiled and told her that someone would help her find her father, long departed.
Time lies heavy on a resident’s mind – lots of time for memories to creep in and fear and worry too. I think the flowers help the spirit. I thought that flowers were just for ladies. But I noticed that the guys liked the flowers as much as the women.
I watched lots of wrinkled hands entwined around the flowers. Smelling them. Touching them. Admiring them. Holding them close against their hearts.
One lady wrapped her arms around me and leaned in for a kiss.
I no longer travel to the downtown Trader Joe’s – a local one is helping now. I have a new routine. Up and out by 8 am, dressed up and off to get the flowers!
Trader Joe’s is so happy that they can be a part of this “recycling of flowers project.” So I am not just going green…..going pink, yellow, white and red….all of the colors of the bouquets that they give to me each morning. All of bouquets that are blooming and helping people in need of a smile!