8 February 2015
I wanted to buy someone a single rose. The grocery near me sells nice single roses. I went into the refrigerator, looking for just the right rose. I found one that was blooming nicely. It was magenta and quite large. Gorgeous!
I asked the distant young girl who was carefully arranging and wrapping a man’s large flower order how much the single rose would cost, She said, “That’s $2.49. If you want the baby’s breath and greenery, you can add an extra $3.00.” I thanked her and waited for her to ring up my purchase.
I looked again at the rose. I now saw a spot on one of the petals that didn’t look good to me. I went back into the refrigerator, looking for just the right rose. I found another magenta rose that was blooming nicely. It was even larger and prettier than the first rose. Perfect!
I lined up once more to pay. The young girl asked if all I wanted was the one rose. I said yes. The man whose flower order she’d been wrapping was off to buy some cases of bottled water. She was free to ring me up.
“I can see how much care you’re putting into wrapping those flowers. I come here to buy flowers from time to time, and I don’t always see people doing such a careful job. It looks like you really love your work. Do you?”
“Oh, yes!!! I just love flowers!!!! They’re so beautiful. Thank you for saying so.” She’d become real.
She’d wrapped my rose in a piece of cellophane. I swiped my credit card. She said, “That’ll be $2.67.” I replied, “That’s fine.” She handed me the rose. I handed it back to her. I said, “It’s for you. I imagine you work with flowers all day long and don’t receive them in return. You love them so much I thought you should have a perfect rose. Enjoy!”
The man whose order she’d been wrapping nodded his approval. The young girl was ecstatic. She came around the counter to hug me.
After the hug ended, I told her this week is the fourth anniversary of my mother’s passing. I told her there had been a lot of trauma around her death that has kept me stuck in the grieving process, and I’d be doing something nice for someone each day this week to try to forget. It’s especially difficult to be in the grieving process around Valentine’s Day. It seems like everywhere I go, there are signs telling me not to forget Mom for the holiday. I’d be doing nice things for others to honor my mother. This day was this beautiful young girl’s turn to be remembered.
She burst out crying. “My father died this past summer, and I’m having such a hard time. Thank you so much for giving me this rose!”
I looked at her carefully. I wasn’t surprised. This happens a lot with me. She seemed to be a little older than I’d been when my own father suddenly passed away, and I saw myself in her. I asked her name, and she introduced herself as Katie. I said I’d put her in prayer when I got home. I told her, “Sweetheart, I understood how hard it can be. I’d gone through it, too. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope it soon gets easier for you.”
The tears flowed down her cheeks, but her eyes looked clearer. I get sent to many who are grieving their loved ones. I know the pain of loss, and I know how many people don’t freely offer the love and support that’s needed to begin to heal the pain of loss. We get platitudes. We get told no one ever dies and that we’re supposed to limit or get over our grief. We get showered with many unfeeling words that come from peoples’ heads instead of being showered with compassion that comes from peoples’ hearts.
To those I find, I give the compassion, the unconditional love and support, the patient ear I rarely got. It’s great service to support those who are in the difficult transition of learning how to move ahead without their beloveds, and I always feel wonderful when I get to do it. It helps me heal to see someone else’s joy, the joy that comes from being cared about, even for a moment. Giving is indeed receiving.
For $2.67, including tax, I had a heartfelt moment with a beautiful young girl, a moment that supported us both.
I see tiny heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for sale for $1.25. I see single roses for sale for $2.49. I see greeting cards in all price ranges for sale.
It doesn’t cost much to unexpectedly touch someone’s heart this week. Try it and experience the healing of two hearts.
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