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.