This conversation is sponsored by The Bouqs. All thoughts and opinions on these beautiful fresh flowers are 100% my own.
I planned to write this post yesterday, and perhaps I should have. It would have been peppy. It would have discussed how I put washi tape onto a vase to make a cute Christmas vase for my front table in two minutes flat. I also would have dwelt on what a fun gift fresh flowers are, especially for a hostess gift. Even if you are too far away to attend a party, you can convey the sentiment that you wish you were there by sending flowers.
If I had written this post yesterday then I would have shown you the mega secure packaging in which my Bouqs arrived. I would have dwelt on the few extra fresh flowers included in each box just in case any got damaged during shipping. I would have discussed how cool and environmentally friendly it is that these flowers are grown on a volcano in South America and are not cut until they are ordered. I most definitely would have gushed about the flat rate, affordable pricing, and the concierge service from The Bouqs that can allow you to get a beautiful shipment each month throughout the year. I would have written a post waxing on and on about each of these things if I had posted yesterday.
But I didn’t, and today is . . . different.
Today there was a high school shooting at my alma mater, Arapahoe High School. We are living with my dad to save money, so every teenager that I work with each week at church was in that building. I was a wreck. All of them were blessed to be able to exit the building safely and physical unscarred, but the emotional scarring is a very different story. As it turns out, some of the sweet teenagers were friends with the young man who did the shooting. Close friends. They saw no warnings. They can’t wrap their heads around what has happened. They are crushed. I spent the day worrying about their safety, and now my heart is heavy as I worry about their hearts.
Once upon a time I too had a broken heart, but from a different type of personal tragedy. My mother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer when I was in college, and one month later my fiance dumped me flat. To say that I was heartbroken and confused and crushed and angry at God would be a very great understatement indeed.
I don’t remember much about that time period. I have never been great about facing my trials with dignity and faith and clarity of mind. I have been really good about holing up in my own little world and trying to close out the world. It’s a problem. Sigh. I have glimpses of sharp mental images from that time period. I remember my sister sleeping at my apartment to walk me to class each morning. I remember being surrounded by new and old friends on my birthday as I blew out my candles many months later. And I remember the flowers.
When news got out about my mom’s passing the flowers started to roll in. Endless, endless flowers. I’m not sure what they meant to my dad, but I do know what they meant to me: HOPE. Hope that I could survive this trial. Hope that I could bloom in adversity, just as my astonishing mother did. Hope that tomorrow would be a better day.
Each day I busied myself with the flowers. Flowers of every variety and size and color filled up the house. There were enough arrangements sent that I was able to put some in every room. All day long I wandered around, watering them, rearranging them, smelling them, switching up their locations, and even just sitting and looking at them. I have a vivid memory of the massive basket of peach flowers that my dad’s law firm sent to our family. I remember sitting on my mama’s peach couch in front of her ugly peach sponge painted wall smiling at that basket of peach flowers. I knew how much she would have loved them, and I knew that the people at the firm loved her and my dad enough to have remembered that peach was her favorite color. Those flowers brought me so much peace and comfort. So much.
Since that time, my dad has started sending me flowers. He is a man of very few words, but he is also very observant and sensitive to his girls. He noticed me fussing with the flowers and reveling in the flowers during my time of grief, and so now he sends them to me. He sends them for birthdays, anniversaries, when I had my babies, for the first day of school when I was teaching, and anytime I am struggling . . . just to say that he is thinking of me. And each time it means so much. My dear, dear friend who was with me the week following my mother’s death sent me flowers each year on the anniversary of her death for years, just because she knew how much they would comfort me on such a sad anniversary.
My mother has now been gone for ten long years. I miss her terribly. Sometimes it seems like we were just laughing together yesterday, but sometimes I cry because I can’t remember what her laugh sounded like. It was a jolly laugh, of that I am sure.
One of the ways that I feel connected to my mother is by working on her family’s genealogy. She is the only person in her family who has really gotten into the research, and when she passed away it just stopped being done. Several years ago I felt prompted to pick up where she left off, and miracles and tender mercies followed which allowed me to continue her work in a big way, but that is a post for another day. I recently helped my dad remodel and redecorate his main floor. It was bittersweet to watch those peach couches leave, but we have managed to work together to create a beautiful new space that still has her spirit in it.
My absolute favorite part of the redecorating project is my ancestor gallery wall. This pictures only shows about a fourth of it. (I will reveal the entire thing at some point soon.) Each time I walk by it I can feel the love and support radiating from the pictures. Not literally, necessarily, because I am not a person who has many big spiritual experiences in that sense. But I would just like to think that they are aware of me and are looking in on my little life every once in a while from Heaven. Seeing them so prominently displayed reminds me of my heritage and how my mom became such an amazing woman.
This is my Grandma Barbara. Isn’t she a beauty?? She is my mother’s mother and she and I were extremely close before she passed away when I was thirteen. One of the things my mom inherited from her was a set of three Christmas carolers. I love bringing them out each Christmas and thinking of her. What a strong, independent woman! I love those carolers, and I love my grandma, so when I received these stunning white roses from The Bouqs I knew it would bring me joy to put them in a spot in our home that already brought me comfort and memories.
As I walked up and down my dad’s curving stairway today I glanced at those roses and felt a touch of hope. After all this time flowers still bring me comfort and peace. I actually didn’t order these roses. I ordered the stunning white ranunculus that were shown on my Christmasy front entry table. These came in a bonus package that I wasn’t expecting. What a tender mercy they have been to me as I have felt sorrow and worry over this tragedy at my former high school!
If you have anyone in your life who is struggling I would encourage you to give them the gift of comfort with some beautiful fresh flowers. If they are accompanied by a heartfelt note it will be all the better. You do not need a huge reason like death to give the gift of comfort. There are so many struggles in this life—health, grief, financial, marital, loneliness, infertility, depression, job stresses, and so many more. Don’t your loved ones deserve to know that you are thinking of them? I think so. Which I why I will be writing a couple of letters and delivering some beautiful fresh flowers to a couple of heartbroken teenagers tomorrow. I hope that the flowers will bring a bit of comfort to them, just as they always have done for me.
If you would like to win a full year of free flower deliveries, then be sure to enter by going to The Bouqs website and creating an account. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post of the person whom your would like to send a Bouq to, along with the link or name of the Bouq that you would like to send. As a little bonus, you will receive a 20% off coupon once you have created an account. You will not regret having done so. In all of my years of receiving flowers in the mail—which, as you can tell, are many—I have never gotten such fresh, long-lasting flowers. And I’m not whistling dixie—that is the absolute truth! I am a believer in The Bouqs now, through and through. Good luck, sweet friends, and thank you for listening.