Contributor Valerie Moreno – Flowers for My Wife

It was Valentine’s Day, 1980. Arnie was excited about buying a gift for me on our first February 14th together as husband and wife.

Making his way down the busy avenue after work, he was bewildered by the silence upon entering the flower shop. His white cane hardly made a sound on the thick carpeting. Where were all the customers? He smelled flowers, so he knew he was in the right place.

“Can I help you, sir?”

“Yes,” Arnie answered the deep-toned gentleman standing before him. “I’d like to buy some flowers for my wife.”

“Oh, certainly. Do you know what kind of flowers you’d like?”

The discussion was brief. Arnie felt pleased and smiled as the man asked, “Where is your wife now?”

“At home,” Arnie answered brightly.

There was a ten-second silence. “Excuse me, sir,” the deep voice was hesitant and wary. “Where did you say she is?”

“Uh…at our apartment.”

“Your apartment?”

Now Arnie was hesitating. “Yes, she’s been there all day,” he said.

Another silence. What was going on here, Arnie wondered. Slowly he explained. “I want a bouquet of flowers to take home to my wife for Valentine’s Day.”

“Now I understand.” The voice sounded relieved. It’s about time, Arnie thought.

“Sir, I think I should tell you that this is not the florist. This is a funeral home.”

“Oh, no!” Arnie felt the color rise in his cheeks as a gentle hand grasped his shoulder, turning him toward the door.

“The flower shop is two doors down to your right.”

They were both laughing as Arnie headed right.

The roses were lovely, but the story behind that bouquet brought twice as many smiles, all these years later. Love and laughter last forever.

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