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Say It With Flowers...

When my father was alive, he used to send my mother flowers all the time.

Her birthday, Mother's day, their anniversary, Valentine's, whatever. Any occasion was a good occasion for sending flowers. And sometimes, he would need no excuse at all.

The flowers were carnations, usually red and white, and my mother loved them.

Their marriage lasted more than 50 years.

When my father passed away, three years ago, I decided that someone had to continue sending flowers to my mother. She missed my father sorely, and I felt that flowers would cheer her up.

With that in mind, I found an Internet company that shipped flowers to Mexico. It was realiable, fast, and reasonably priced. Or at least as reasonably priced as international flower shipping comes.

I did not send her carnations though - red, white or otherwise. The company did not carry them. What they carried were Peruvian lilies, and my mother fell in love with them. So every birthday, Christmas, Mother's day and Valentine's, she received a bouquet of her favorite lilies and as far as I know, that made her very happy.

The interesting thing about the lilies is that they were not packaged like most commercial flowers. Perhaps it was because they were imported from South America, but they came in a box, almost dehydrated, blooms closed, and with a special powder to activate them. Then, in about two hours, the flowers would bloom in a riot of color and last for days and days.

This past Mother's Day (May 10 in Mexico), it was not exception. Two weeks prior to the holiday, I put my order and forgot all about it in the knowledge that the flowers would arrive right on time.

Except for the fact that my mother passed away in the first hours in the morning in Mother's Day, this would have been a flawless plan...

Fast forward to the funeral mass. We are standing there in the receiving line at the end of the service, when two of the nurses from the nursing home came to offer her sympathies.

"Oh," says the first one. "You have no idea how your mother loved your flowers."

"Yes," says the second one. "Every time they arrived, she called everyone over. We would then unpack the flowers, put them in water, add the special powder and waited for them to bloom. It was almost like a party. We have a number of pictures of her with her flowers. I was lovely."

"About that," I say. "I do apologize. You must have received the flowers the day she died, and she was gone by then. It must have been awkward at best. I meant to call you to let you know, but I totally forgot."

"Oh, they arrived all right," they tell me. "And you would never believe what happened."

"So what happened?"

"The flowers arrived completely wilted. Dead," they say. "They could not be brought back, no matter what we tried. This had never happened before. It was like since your mother was not there anymore, they would not bother to bloom."

I stay there with my mouth open as they leave.

I turn around and look at my fried Carlos V. who is standing next to me. "Well," he says. "La Doña definitely liked them. She took her flowers with her."

At that point, a great relief washed over me.

My mother had left this world, and she had left it happy.

She even took her flowers with her.

It doesn't get much better than that.

So yeah. If you have something to say, say it with flowers.

Besides, you can't beat the delivery system.

~Belfebe out.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 16th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss, but that is the most beautiful "last" story that I think I have ever heard.
May. 17th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you
May. 16th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oof. I got chills.
May. 16th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
Your mom was a lucky woman. *hugs*

BTW - if you like to plant things in memory of people (or just because you like them), they're now selling Peruvian lilies (aka alstroemeria) of various colors that are hardy in VA and are bred to look good (short and full) in the garden instead of a vase. They're one of my favorites - we had peruvian lilies and roses on our wedding cake, and I was thrilled to find new varieties that I could grow in the garden here. They call it the 'Princess' series.

May. 17th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Planting Peruvian lilies sounds like a wonderful idea. Do you order them online or do they carry them locally? I need to check my local nurseries.
May. 18th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
I would check locally - the bigger garden store in Richmond has carried them at least two springs in a row.
May. 16th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
Wow - what a beautiful story. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm glad your mother got to take her flowers with her.
May. 16th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
That is very sad and very awesome, both. Glad to hear that you're still finding good moments in the middle of everything.
May. 16th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for the loss of your mother, and I am so glad she got to take the flowers with her.
That is an amazingly beautiful story.
May. 16th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
I grieve for your loss, and am glad she has such lovely blooms still with her.
May. 16th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Amazing. Your mom took her flowers with her and Shane sent them to me.
May. 17th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
Wow. Tell me the story of Shane and the flowers. I'd love to hear it. :-)
May. 18th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
May. 18th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
OMG! Yes! That was definitely him! *Hugs*
May. 17th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
That's terrible news, but a beautiful story.
May. 17th, 2011 02:16 am (UTC)
Wow. Your mother was an amazing woman.
May. 17th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
My mother had left this world, and she had left it happy.

What a gorgeous tribute.

I too am sorry for your loss.
May. 17th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
I can only hope that when I move from this world somebody will have cared enough to send me on with such a wonderful memory, such a fantastic sense of accomplishment. Praise to you for remembering your mother so well; very few of us take the time, yet far more of us should.
May. 18th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
I think that there will be plenty of us to care about you. But please, take your time :-D
May. 17th, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful story. Gave me chills.
May. 17th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful
You had me sobbing at my desk. I am so sorry for your loss.
May. 20th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss. Thankyou for sharing such a wonderful story. I can tell you two had a very warm relationship.
May. 20th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
As I said earlier on, in my surely imperfect Spanish, I am sorry for your loss; but I'm sure you know that your mother lived and loved and touched many hearts - including those nurses at the nursing home, and her friends there.

The story of the flowers is wonderful, one of those things that can only be explained as being touched by the hand of God or an angel.

Bless you for your love for your mother, and bless her memory for a life well lived.
May. 20th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
what an awesome story.

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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