Updated: May 17, 2021
So, here's a question. How do we each experience the gift of flowers? How do we react to the colors and flowers themselves? Perhaps your pupils dilate with a particularly exciting color. Or your olfactory nerve is tickled by fragrance triggering memories from a time long ago.
For most of us, the gift of flowers is a connection from one heart to another. Few, if any, words are necessary. In fact, most enclosure cards are short and succinct "Happy Birthday, from Joe". "Congratulations, love Nana". The true message is in the act of gifting the flowers.
I have a very good customer, Darren, whom I've never met, and in a relatively short amount of time I've grown very fond of. We've had many friendly phone conversations during which he's shared happy memories about his family and their dog. They all seem like such lovely people.
Darren initially called the shop because he wanted to send his mom and dad flowers. His elderly folks had moved up to this area from another state to live in an assisted living facility closer to their daughter, Darren's sister. Their parents were healthy, but in need of assistance with the day-to-day and he wanted to send flowers to brighten up their new home.
It was about a year ago now when we sent the first floral arrangement. Then the pandemic hit. Mom and dad were in lockdown in the facility, seeing no family except their daughter through a glass window on cell phones. Isolated from all that they had known, Darren regularly kept in contact with them through phone calls, mail, and flowers.
Through the many conversations over the past months, I learned from Darren that the whole family had a background in music and he would sing with his mom and dad (and sometimes to me, too!) over the phone, bringing back old familiar songs they could connect with. Mom loved beautiful things and beautiful gardens. She missed her garden back home. And yes, he sent flowers.
Then, within months of having moved into the facility, dad passed away. Oh the grief, loneliness and isolation that followed took a toll on mom. The flowers continued. And she always loved them, letting the sender know how she loved them.
Then one day Darren called me with deep sadness. I could hear the thickness in his voice as he described the dementia that his mom was now starting to experience. It was necessary to move mom to a new facility that offered a different level of care. Darren was so disappointed with this change in his mom's personality, but I think it was her recently developed, uncharacteristic anger that Darren had a difficult time dealing with. Could we get flowers to her as soon as possible? We did.
That afternoon, mom called Darren with the familiar love and enthusiasm that he had always known. She thanked him for the flowers, brightly identifying each flower and the colors in great detail. The flowers had sparked happiness and lively conversation. Darren called to thank me for getting the arrangement out so quickly. Through a broken, husky voice before hanging up he said, "Remember, it's more than just about flowers."
It was one of the best phone calls I had received in months. It was a wonderful reminder about why I do what I do - connecting one human to another through beauty.
Keep on blooming and growing.
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