Flowers For Diane

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?


About Aligaeta

I am a life time resident of NY State. A graduate of Nassau Community College, AA in Liberal Arts and Queens College, BA in English and Sociology. I am the mother of four children, the survivor of divorce, and I love to write in prose. This blog will be a record of my journey... destination unknown. Read more...
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6 Responses to Flowers For Diane

  1. I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

  2. jannatwrites says:

    What a nice gesture. I’m sure your sister appreciated it. We have a supermarket that’s advertising a ‘gift tent’ set up in their parking lot. Ick.

    Valentine’s Day isn’t really my thing (my husband is grateful for this), so I don’t buy gifts for others. I did buy a card for my husband, but that’s it.

    • Aligaeta says:

      I’ll pick up a nice card for my man on the way to my sister’s house this morning and come home in time to make him a nice dinner. I am thankful for the gifts he gave me last night, but mostly for the card that was cute, funny, and so us!

  3. Southern Man says:

    Sadly, commercialism is ruining traditions and simple appreciation of one another while altering the perception of value. A friend said “Women love this day because it celebrates LOVE. Men tolerate it because they know they’ll probably get lucky.” While true, why can’t it be about thoughtfulness, respect and love. What you did for your loved ones is to be commended.

    In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of what/why we celebrate:

    Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages. He lived in the third century and was priest in Rome. He helped Christians in Rome who were being persecuted and even martyred under the reign of Claudius II. Eventually, he himself was captured, tortured and beheaded on February 14th.

    While we don’t know much else about Valentine, we know that he was a real person and that he must have been a source of great inspiration to the early church because they had a church built in his honor in Rome and in 496 AD, Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of Saint Valentine’s martyrdom.

    Today, then, we celebrate a saint who’s life reminds us that love requires death–at a minimum, we must die to self so as to live for another; at a maximum, we might be asked to literally lay down our lives for another. In the words of Christ, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

  4. Aligaeta says:

    Well, thank you Southern Man for putting Valentine’s Day in perspective!
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones.

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