Now that he’s gone, I do find it hard to receive flowers from anyone else.
Before we married, Bronnie used to send me flowers. It was a habit he kept up even after I upped sticks to the country with him and there became an accidental gardener.
In my garden, broken fingernails deep in dirt and worms, was my first experience of grace. A sense of something bigger than me that was somehow looking out for me. (And know that I am not a fanciful person.) Now that I live in a city apartment without a garden, that path to grace is somewhat closed off, but maybe it had to be so to find my bliss, my grace, when I am writing.
Bronnie’s loss has been a somewhat path to this writing grace. I am more myself, more the woman he married and not just his widow when I am writing. Writing is the place I can be the me he knew and loved, the me that can pretend I did not die along with him.
So now I take pictures of flowers and other people’s gardens and reminisce on the page. Like how in spring (my favourite month), Bronnie would be the first to bring me daffodils. Or the time he sent 12 dozen, long-stemmed red roses to my office by way of an apology for something or other. Or how I only know the smell of hyacinths because they were one of the first floral gifts Bronnie gave me.
Six years on, I do find it a little hard to receive flowers from anyone else. But when I do, I recall Bronnie sending me flowers, and I try to receive them with that remembered sense of joy and with grace.