09 July 2009

Birthday Flowers

A few days before my birthday, a card arrived in the mail from my mother. I opened it up, and found inside a gift card to go buy flowers.

But there was a catch!

I was not allowed to keep any of the flowers for myself. No, the present to me from my mother was the collection of smiles I would receive from people to whom I gave the flowers I bought.

The store offered big bunches of roses, and for the sale price I was able to purchase four. Four. I'm not sure I've ever felt so rich as when I went through check-out with such an arm-full of flowers.

At home, I got out all the little vases I could find, especially the ones I wouldn't mind parting with. Fourteen or fifteen small bouquets later, I was ready for my mission.

First smiles were the company who came over for dinner and took flowers with them home. Next, a former co-worker, and after that some grandparently folks. Then a former teacher and his wife, and a great aunt and a great uncle.

What lovely visits we had! I couldn't remember having a nicer reason to go visiting, or a better present than the gift giving, and of happy hours with dear friends.

Next day, I took bouquets to the offices and bookstore in our building, but still, I had a few bouquets remaining. A few dried heads took a ride in the USPS, but there were still quite a few left. How could I justify keeping what hadn't been given to me? I needed to find a way to gather at least one more smile.

Like a flash of brilliance, it came to me: I could dry all the remaining flowers, and collect the last smile from my mother herself. And that's just what I did, too.


  1. And the smiles continue
    Frequent and true
    Over the bouquets of thoughtfulness
    Left here by you

  2. I love this idea! What a sweet birthday present...


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