The day before Mother’s Day, the flower shop I was working in was abuzz with preparations. Among the constant stream of customers, I spotted a short elderly man making his way slowly toward me. “Can I help you with something?’ My heart instantly warmed to this gentleman, the pleasantnesss of his soul could be seen on his face. “I want to buy some flowers, but I haven’t got much money.”
I guided him to our display cooler and began to show him the options available. He decided on 1 red rose, no vase, to keep the cost down, and I carried the roses to the counter. “I’ve never bought flowers for anyone before,” He said with thoughtfulness. “But these are for my wife; we’ve been married for 86 years.” He paused and gazed at the rose I was wrapping in colorful paper. “You know, I’ll take 2 roses. I want it to be nice, she’s in the Alzheimer’s unit and I’m taking them to her now.”
I felt my heart in my throat and tears welled up in my eyes as I collected $7.42. I thanked him and watched him slowly walk out the door.
I was surprised how much he had affected me. I had trouble composing myself to attend to the other customers waiting for my assistance. I wanted to just run and hide and let the tears fall openly. 86 years is a long time. I thought of all the love and commitment necessary for a marriage to make it to that mark. I thought of his heart and the love he still had for his wife, love that probably was not returned any more, leaving him lonely and hurting, yet he still reached out to her in love and care. What a story of love!
Even after that long 12 hour day, after arriving home and showering that night, my mind was still on that man. I wished I had gotten his name. I wished I had paid for his flowers. Where did he live? Did he live alone? Eat his meals alone? Did he visit his wife daily? Did she even know him anymore?
I shared with my husband how this had affected me, but too emotional, I did not go on to voice my fears of this one day being our story. I wanted to tell him I loved him and to remember it just in case someday I forget who I am and who I love. I had trouble finding the right words so I did not try.
This man’s love is like a picture of God’s love. He sacrificed His son because of His love for us. He gives us the gift of salvation and yet many don’t acknowledge Him. And we who are His many times live as if we have forgotten Whose we are and Who loves us.
We see the roses of blessings, yet our hearts are cloudy and confused with worldly cares. But this does not stop the One who loves us, the One who reaches out to us in love and care. The ending to our story can be a happy one, unlike this gentleman’s. His wife will likely pass away without even remembering his name. Physical Alzheimer’s is uncurable, but Spiritual Alzheimer’s is treatable and completely curable.
Remembering who we are and Who we belong to allows us to smell the roses of His love and live our lives returning that love. We are loved. Loved with a divine love. Now that’s a love story.
I really love hearing from you! Tell me....What keeps you from remembering Whose you are? What reminds you Whose you are?