It's been more than a few years now.. that the owner of the florist shop in our city here in Tennessee waits for me. Wondering if once again.. in January.. I will walk through the front door of the florist shop to order the gardenias.
And when I do...she smiles with a look of relief, sorta, and says, "Another year?" And I nod my head with joy and order the gardenias ( a wrist band, a corsage) for my father to give to my mother on their Wedding Anniversary - which is TODAY.. February 20th. 72 YEARS.
On February 20, 1943, my mother's bridal bouquet was filled with gardenias. The smell of a gardenia always reminds her of her wedding day and makes her smile. Since making her smile is one of my father's primary goals in life..every anniversary for the past seventy one years. my father made sure she got gardenias.
Nowadays, he isn't able to drive anymore, but he still makes getting the gardenias his number one priority. Starting in January he reminds me that February 20th is coming soon and I reassure him that I've got the gardenias ordered. He makes sure we have the money to pay for them... The florist owner and workers have met them and love them (who doesn't?) and comment - as does almost everyone - how unusual it is for two people their age to still have one another. It is unusual. It is A BLESSING.
Later this morning, Phil and I will drive to the florist...pick up the gardenias... bring them to my parent's house.. and watch my saint of a father... hand the gardenia to my saint of a mother.. and she will say, "Ohhhh Honey... You got me gardenias????" - as if this is the first time ever - and hug him and kiss him and he will smile.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my parents. Their lives are worthy of being honored.. and I honor them.
And while the family gathers to sing to them, watch them they blow out the candles on their 72 Anniversary cake, while we laugh and love and gather at their home as a family... my unspoken prayer will be that next January.... I will once again walk through the door of the florist shop and place my father's order.
Getting the gardenias again is all I really want.
I love you Dad. I love you Mom.