I do not have a bucket list. I really am not sure what I would list if I did. One thing is for sure, if I made a list of all the things I have yet to do or experience, there is one, I could not list as that happened yesterday.
Growing up we didn't make a big to do out of birthdays. I did have a couple of parties as a little girl and one when I turned 13. No, not the rent out the community center and have a girl boy dance party the way some of my friends parents did for them, but a group of girls from school over for cake one cold, rainy Saturday morning. I still remember it fondly as my Mom even bought a store bought cake, my first and only outside our wedding cake.
I did not plan to make a big deal out of this birthday either, but it turned out to be big on many levels. All of my brothers called, that's a record. My oldest son found time to come home and take his little brother John out on Friday night so I could have dinner alone with my husband. A first in a very, very long time. The biggest surprise of all, was a box brought to the house by UPS.
I glanced the familiar big brown delivery truck backing into my driveway Friday morning. My first thought was what now, I didn't buy anything, who ordered something and didn't tell me. I opened the door as soon as Mike the driver rang the door bell. Mike was smiling, and he nodded to the box he had just placed on the bench outside the door. FLOWERS! It was a huge green and white box from Pro Flowers! I snatched the box up and dashed back inside. I stood very still for a minute staring at the box I placed on the kitchen table. For a minute visions of movie scenes danced in my head. I saw myself as Marlyn Monroe spinning in a circle holding an open box of flowers in her arms. Visions of Dorothy getting flowers from George on the television show Hazel crossed my mind. I was one of them, one of the special people in this life that get flowers in a box!
Now don't get me wrong, I have had flowers before. I got a few rose buds in my day in high school and college. I am Southern, flowers are something your raise like tomatoes, you plant seeds, water and fret over them, weed them, and cut flowers to share with others right out of your garden. I have always loved raising my zinnias and daisies, cutting them to bring inside or use to decorate the church for showers and weddings. Winter always leaves a empty space in my home, a longing for fresh cut bright beautiful flowers to make the dark winter days seem brighter. I have stopped at Kroger and run my hand over the blooms thinking how wonderful it would be to buy a bouquet and bring them home. I never do, I just think about it. Now here I was about to open a box with real fresh cut flowers inside.
I held my breath. First of all, who sent them? Not my husband. Not that he wouldn't but to spend money on such would only make me worry about the things we needed to pay off instead. I have always told him no when he saw that look of longing in my eyes as I lingered over flowers in the grocery. No, it was not him. I slowly started to open the box, stopped and ran to the pantry to get a vase. I chose the larger one I use in the summer for zinnias. I filled it with cool water and ran back to the box. NOW I told myself, now you are ready to open the box. I pulled on the zip tab, took a deep breath, reached into the box and pulled out the flowers.
I couldn't breath as I held them close. The card, I needed to see who sent them, but I didn't want to put them down long enough to open it. Slowly I placed the flowers down and took the card in my hand. As I did, my hand brushed a new, shiny glass vase! WOW! I got a new vase even. Getting flowers in a box, I quickly learned, come with all kind of extras. I transferred the water to the new vase, took the flowers over to the kitchen sink, snipped off the ends, and put them in the vase. Now, to unravel who the gift giver was.
Sometimes your heart just stops or skips a beat because a moment in your life is so special. The giver was a family I know only from that amazing circle of friendship that grows on the internet. A best friend I have never had the privileged of sitting down with in person and yet, feel like I do whenever we speak on the web. She has two adorable little boys who are kind enough to keep my refrigerator covered with art work. Now after years of long distant letters and short internet chats, I felt this friendship had come full circle. I knew that I was important in her life the way she is important in mine.
I sat down and looked at my flowers while choosing a chocolate that came in the box as well. If I had a bucket list I thought to myself, I could cross off got flowers delivered to the door, and I could cross off, made a best friend via the internet. I could also cross of being adopted as a long distant aunt by two wonderful little boys.
This morning the flowers were in full bloom. My family has all commented if they had known just how much they would mean to me, they would have bought some as well. They are missing the point, yes the flowers do mean oh so much to me, but the true meaning is in the fact that I know my life as value to another person. You cannot put a price on such a gift. You cannot box it up and ship it across country. You can however, enjoy the feeling, and that, will last long after the flower blooms have faded. Thank you sweet friend for the gift of value, the best gift I got this year.