On my very first wedding, the hydrangeas I ordered arrived purple instead of pink. Ok, that was a stressful day. I almost had a panic attack… ask my husband and he probably would say I did. I was tapped out. Tapped out of flower options. So desperate, I even offered to donate to the landscape fund of the church across the street. I had been eyeing the color of hydrangea in their flower beds for weeks. Unfortunately, they ended up being the wrong shade of pink in the sunlight. I remember crying on my husband’s shoulder. He said it would all turn out alright. I said in tears, “Babe, this is one of the most important days of their lives. I don’t want to mess up.”
Those feelings were definitely present this past weekend. Would the bride like how the flowers turned out? Would the flowers survive the three hour drive to their wedding destination? Were the peonies the right shade of white because they had a yellow tint to them? Would the flowers wilt in the hot sun of the afternoon? Seriously, how could a girl not have a panic attack over all these wedding day disasters!?
Sometimes when someone asks, “Where do you work? or… What do you do for a living?” I get this nodding response of “Oh, that’s nice.” Then the body language reads, next subject! This is unfortunate for a lot of reasons I will refrain from elaborating on. However, I will comment on the highly important role the florist has in the community, and today I was reminded why.
I had to order flowers for a long-time friend in my hometown. Tragically, her father passed away in an auto accident and my friend and I, who were not able to attend the funeral wanted her to know we were thinking of her and her family. The call to the florist started out fine. And of course, I asked where the flowers were coming from! I decided on an orchid plant to last several weeks, but then came the card part. My throat froze and tears began to well up in my eyes. In that moment, it was too difficult to formulate the words and all I could say was “I’m sorry, I should’ve thought about the card.” The silence only lasted a fraction of a second or two, but the florist stepped right in and said we could skip that part and come back to finding the right words at the end of the call. She knew. She felt the heaviness in my heart from the silence on the other end of the phone and made it ok for me to choke for a second.
The truth is a florist just isn’t a florist. A florist doesn’t just fashion flowers in a vase for someone to buy. Their role means so much more. The florist, as it turns out, is present for some of the biggest moments in people’s lives…The happiest of days… a wedding or the birth of a child. The most exciting of days…. A graduation or birthday. And yes, even the saddest of days…an illness or a death in the family. A florist’s artwork speaks the feelings for which we, as humans, may not be able to convey in words or in presence. A florist is there in times of overwhelming joy and delight. A florist is there taking the call for someone who lost a loved one in this life, whether tragic or in soft passing, and trying to ease any ounce of pain we, as humans, feel through the power and wonderment of flowers.
Like anyone else from time to time, I ask myself questions like, “should I be in this flower business?... or… is this where I’m supposed to be right now?” In that moment, following the call with my hometown florist, I knew the answer.
Heck yes I am! I am exactly where I need to be.
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Plus... I have one more announcement I can't wait to share, but my lips are sealed until given the green light!