When you work in a floral shop, you get to know men.
I know that our plant delivery guy keeps Superman stickers on his cap because his ten-year-old put them there. I know he loves biscuits and gravy from Stella’s. I know I’ll most likely get a free plant because he likes to see me smile. I know he’s getting a divorce. I know he’s rough around the edges and has a very good soul.
I know within a few seconds of a guy walking in if today is a birthday or an anniversary. I know the secret admirers behind the mysterious cards. I know the men who will buy two dozen roses to save face. The ones who believe flowers cover a multitude of sins. The ones who merely want to get lucky vs. the ones who truly believe they are lucky.
But the men who burst my heart wide open?
The man from the class of ’44 who sends flowers to every funeral of a classmate and tells me not many are left. The same man who spends eight dollars every week on a small bouquet for his wife in the nursing home. “It’s me again. She just really likes flowers. Needs something cheerful to look at. Nope, I don’t need a vase.”
The middle-aged man who examined every flower, told me which ones were her favorites, and carefully chose the colors. Told me why, at checkout, he didn’t need a card. She passed this time last year. They weren’t for her grave. “I want to put them on the table. I just want them in the house. They remind me of her.”
I watched P.S I Love You last night. I figured it was on because yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and the setting of the movie is Ireland. I forgot I wasn’t supposed to watch this one or The Notebook when I’m by myself. Especially not when I watch my husband dress for work in a bullet-proof vest.
Imagine me ugly crying and hyperventilating on my couch. Taking breaks in hot bathwater to calm myself down during commercials. I saw this movie in theaters–it wasn’t like I didn’t know the storyline. But I feel movies, you know? I live them. I exhaustedly live them. I’m jumpy. I have vivid and terrible dreams. I feel. Hard.
Do you remember in that movie, the way he looks at her? The words he writes? The way he knows her? Guides her? Cherishes her?
Last night I felt like a mad woman who wanted to furiously etch every memory–every tiny gratitude.
For the way he tells me I’m precious to him.
Holds my face in his hands.
Noticed me in every crowd.
Says he’s proud of me in a way I believe him.
Rolls away the stone in my heart.
Makes it bust wide open.
Makes my heart look forward to,
for the love of GOD, going HOME to the South where we both feel most alive.
To our places.
A baby and puppies we can actually keep this time.
But I’m also looking forward to getting off work tonight and knowing he doesn’t have to leave. We will catch up tonight. Make love and coffee in the morning.
I’m looking forward to spring and fishing and mushroom hunting and walks with him. But I’ll also watch this March snowfall with him. Hold him tight.
My adrenaline-junkie husband better stay alive and with me until his classmates die off and I’m in the nursing home. I’ll take flowers every week, please. I just like flowers. I need something cheerful to look at.
But now? Now I’ll take all the ways he loves me. Guides me. Cherishes. Me.
Thank you to the giver of every good thing. For giving me a love that does not change.
A solid man who doesn’t shift with the shadows.
The man who sees–in all my darkness–still sees a heavenly light.
I love you (P.S).