Valentine’s Day evening as I prepared dinner for my sister’s family I realized that I’d forgotten a few important items. The time was nearly 4:30 p.m., and dinner would have to be finished by the time my sister and her husband returned from work. My mom had accompanied me to my sister’s place, so I asked her to take charge of the simmering pots to keep them from boiling over while I quickly departed for the nearest grocery store.
As I walked through the store, I noticed that there was an influx of male customers either standing in line at the cash registers or walking around picking up items; nearly all of them seemed to be carrying boxes of chocolates and/or bouquets of flowers. I thought to myself how touching it was to see these men who were purchasing gifts for their sweethearts. At the same time, I sensed a veil of sadness that seemed to drape over my countenance; seeing all of these things reminded me so much of my husband, Tom, who had passed away recently.
While retrieving my few grocery items, I tried to walk quickly to avert my attention from these Valentine lovers. I could feel the tears welling up in my soul, and I just didn’t want to start crying as I stood at the checkout stands.
I finished my shopping and proceeded to the exit. As I walked across the storefront threshold, a flash of red drew my attention downward. I glanced at the floor, and there directly in front of me lay a beautiful red rose that had been broken from a longer stem. I stooped down to pick it up and immediately looked around to see if I could locate its owner. I wondered if I’d be in trouble for picking up this pretty little flower, so I walked further out into the parking lot, still searching for someone who might be carrying a bouquet of red roses.
To my surprise, the male customers who were in the small parking lot were walking to their cars carrying other kinds of flowers and bouquets–no red roses in sight.
Since I wasn’t able to find the one who’d lost the rose, I opened my car door and placed the groceries and my purse in the seat next to me. As I sat there alone in my car, the sweet fragrance of the rose filled my senses. It was then that I suddenly realized that this was not just an ordinary rose–it was a gift from Heaven! I knew at that moment that my lovely rose had been a message sent from my beloved husband. I believe that God allowed me to see that rose lying there and to carry it home as a gift from my angel.
I cried all the way back to my sister’s house. I couldn’t wait to tell the story to my mom and sister, who had been standing in the kitchen waiting for me. As I walked in carrying my beautiful gift, I explained what had happened. I wiped the tears from my eyes as I exclaimed: “My husband sent me a rose from Heaven!”
You see, this flower meant a little more than just a remembrance from my husband; many years before, he had called me his “Long Stem Red Rose.”
Moral of the story: Take time to stop and smell the flowers, especially if they’re “Heaven-scent!”
by Mary Jane Ontiveroz