Most of you don’t know that in a previous life I worked in a florist shop. It was during an extremely challenging time in my life. My son, Jeff, had gone to the Emergency Room at the local hospital all three days over the Labor Day weekend, each day with a severe headache. With a different doctor each day, it was a nurse that had been there everyday who finally insisted they do a CAT scan, only to find the root problem was a blood clot requiring surgery. Unfortunately Jeff died a few months later. The flower shoppe played a major role in my grieving, and ultimately my healing, from this traumatic even
To this day, several of the lessons I learned while under the tutelage of a wise British woman, Irene, and her talented floral-creator daughter, Adele, have contributed to my respect for, love of, and craving for flowers both inside and outside my home. The hospital where Jeff was born, and ultimately died, was just 3 blocks from this shop.
I quickly discovered the circle of life played out in this arena. Plus during the two months before his death, Jeff delivered flowers to unsuspecting souls whose eyes lit up and smiles unfurled as he handed bouquets, plants and a few stuffed animals to celebrate, delight and heal bodies, minds and spirits. (He also received tips from many, which helped him purchase a remote control car he assembled before his death.)
What I learned in the flower shoppe:
When there is a death, there is usually a birth within a 24-hour period.
Always start with a good foundation – a clean vase – washed with soap and water, or possibly bleach.
Use the food packet – the packets you get contain sugar (nutrients), an acidifier (to maintain the water’s pH level so flowers can soak up the water), and bleach to kill any bacteria.
Give the stems a fresh cut since exposure to air seals the stem.
Cut the stem at an angle for more surface area to drink up more water.
Be sure to remove all leaves that will be in the water because the leaves rot and often are the carrier of diseases.
Check the water level daily. Keep the arrangement out of the sun or direct heat to prolong their beauty.
Yesterday my husband said how much he appreciated I “beautified” our home with flowers. First, I found that surprising because in 28 years he has never made a statement along those lines. Second, as I was removing the 4-week-old blooms from the dining room table vase, he started asking more questions about the new flowers I had purchased. Why did I use bleach to clean the vase? Why do I remove the bottom leaves? Why do I cut the stem at an angle?
As I was putting these beautiful Alstroemeria buds in the vase, he asked, “Will those buds open?” With a smile I said, “Yes, by tomorrow they will be open.” And because they are buds, they will last 2-4 weeks. With delight in my heart from his awareness of this ritual I do, I was overjoyed I had been able to find one bouquet of RED mini-carnations to add to the arrangement. Since it’s only about a week after Valentine’s Day, finding anything RED is very unusual.
This is a way I “Love-On-My-Home” as well as giving myself “Self-Love.” Go get some flowers for your home and your heart! Then, please share it here!