Today I went to the grave to check on the flowers. They still looked fresh from a distance, but up close, I could see where the edges of the silk were frayed, and the reds were slightly faded. A scrap had blown off and was lying in the grass.
I went over to the florist’s shop conveniently located next to the Memorial Park. Most of their selection seemed picked over and already used. I found some tulips that had a nice dark maroon color and some contrasting whites. The clerk asked me what I needed, and I murmured, “Flowers for a grave.” When I showed her what I wanted, she pointed out that there were pink blooms in with the other colors and that they came as a set. Inwardly shrugging, I let her cut the stems and arrange them into a block of foam. Usually, they offer to place the flowers in the grave, but this lady simply rang me up and handed me the foam block.
I drove back over to the grave, and tried to pull out the old bouquet. The foam broke, and I tried everything I could think of to dig it out, but it wouldn’t come out. I almost cried right then. I decided to go back to the florist to see if they had anything that could help. As I re-entered, I noticed my clerk talking to new customers. I interrupted them. She gave me a metal hook and I trudged back to the site.
I finally wrested the foam from the vase, and was able to add the new flowers. Will would have complained about the pink ones, so I told him that this was his gift to me. “Happy Mother’s Day,” I told myself as I carried the hook, broken foam and old flowers back to the flower shop.
I got back in my car and began to cry uncontrollably as I drove back to town. For a moment, I considered stopping by the side of the road. But I knew I had more errands to run. So I drove on to the restaurant and sat down to eat alone.