Mother Teresa’s Shelter or St. Patrick’s Church – for flower sharing?


I am not always a rational type of thinker. Just sort of quirky and creative. A right brain kind of gal. I depend on my fun side…..the side that says, Okay God, where do you want me to take these flowers? Who needs them today?

I guess that is why I never have a detailed plan for where the flowers will go.

I asked my mother if she wanted to go for a ride….with her oxygen tank. She wouldn’t be able to go in and out of places with me to give out the flowers. She had her Philadelphia Inquirer to read and a can of soda. My deliveries are of the quick in and out type so I knew she would be okay wherever we ended up.

Sometimes 100 bouquets can be given out in less than an hour. Blooming joy to lots of strangers. I always loved that Dr. Seuss story – Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

That’s seems to be the theme of my life. Two years ago, I went to Ecuador out of the blue. I just love speaking Spanish and enjoy the Latin American culture.

I went to an assisted living in Blue Bell and I just happened to know the receptionist. I showed her the bags of flowers and asked if I could pass them out.

The dining room was filled with lots of ladies. I did not see any men.

20 tables with three ladies at each table. In and out in about five minutes – and as I turned around, I saw 60 ladies just staring in a kind of disbelief at the gorgeous flowers sitting next to their place setting.

One lady gave a loud whoop and placed them happily on her walker.

I had 25 bouquets left.

I saw a homeless lady in Norristown sitting near the curb. One for her too. She told me a heartbreaking story about two of her adult children. I am not sure if the story was fact or fiction.

Didn’t you give me flowers before down by the bus stop?

That’s right, I did. That was last summer.

She looked cold so I took off my blue coat and offered it to her. She did not want it. Another man came by and gave her two hooded sweatshirts. I asked him how he knew she needed the sweatshirts.
He said,
“She used to come into the bar I used to hang out in.”

Then, the lady asked me to help her put on both sweatshirts.

Then she said, Can you do me a favor? Can you give me money for a motel tonight?

I said that I was sorry that I could not help her with that.

Then, can you at least take me to McDonalds to get a hamburger?

I told her my car had too much junk in it and I could not fit anything or anyone else in it.

I offered to go and buy her a hamburger but she did not want that – she wanted to go in my car.

She wasn’t too happy with me.

On to the next destination – wherever that might be!

I planned to go to the Mother Teresa House and give the flowers to the nun who usually answers the door. I like to see the joy on the face when someone receives a bouquet. At the Mother Teresa Shelter, the nun just takes the donation, thanks you and closes the door. It just didn’t seem like the right place for today’s bouquets.

I glanced up the street and saw a lot of Mexican people leaving the Saint Patrick’s Spanish language Mass. I walked a half block and in my best attempt at Spanish, explained what I was doing and passed out 20 bouquets.

I saw one lady wipe a tear as I said in Spanish, “Welcome to the United States.” I asked them where they were from in Mexico. I told them that I had lived in Cholula and Puebla, Mexico when I was 21. For six months.

Guess what city they were from? You got it. They were from Puebla too.

A man walking alone took one and thanked me profusely. He was really smiling. I was so glad that I gave one to him.

He started walking down the street. In a different direction.

I entered the church and saw the priest holding the Trader Joe’s bouquet and the man was next to him. I guess the man went into the church by a side door.

He said in Spanish and luckily I could understand him –

I wanted Father to put the flowers in front of the statue for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s for the chance to be The Flower Lady.

Thank you, Right Brain, for giving me these ideas on a cold December Sunday afternoon!

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