Saturday night, I walked into Shoprite and was nearly knocked over by the enormous floral display. The lovely bouquets of roses: red, white, and pink, big and small, were amongst mixed flower arrangements set out for this very special day. Celebratory helium Balloons with the sayings “I Love You” and “Happy Valentine’s Day” floated in the air with streamers hanging from each. Beneath were displays: boxes and bags of chocolate, and precious stuffed animals, amongst the bouquets and plants staked with a plastic heart and adorned with ribbon.
I was surprised to find such a sprawling variety of gifts to purchase for loved ones set out here in a supermarket. I was not expecting this grandstanding
commercialism symbol of love beside the produce. The shock of it pierced my heart like the recent news of my sisters husband’s death.
I fought back the tears thinking of my sister walking innocently into the supermarket with her three little ones at her side to purchase a gallon of milk, to be hit in the face with such a display. I thought of her waking Monday morning without flowers in the house. I thought of my niece and nephews and their helplessness. I bought three small bouquets of mixed carnations and went directly to their house. I gave each child a bouquet to give their mother.
On Valentine’s Day,
As there is love,
There will be,
Flowers for Diane.
I walked amongst the display for sometime before deciding what I should do. I wanted to shut down, walk away, and try to shake off the uncomfortable feelings. I did not want to succumb to the marketing ploy in these difficult economic times. Yet, I’m glad I took the time. At my sister’s house, I could see she had been crying. Although she hadn’t called, she needed me. I was glad to be there for her.
Even in a house full of kids she was feeling lonely, having lost her best friend.
How many people will you remember on this Valentine’s Day?