I had a hard day yesterday. The sad part is, the day itself was great. Yet, everywhere I turned, there were memories of Emily. Everything made me think of her, from 2:00 in the morning until I finally fell asleep watching television around 10:00pm. Although I definitely don’t want to forget her, sometimes it just overwhelms the day when everything causes my heart to break again.
When I woke up this morning, I told myself I would leave yesterday behind and focus on the day ahead. I have plenty of work to do, which should distract me most of the day. But, as I’m starting to learn, the universe has a twisted sense of humor… and so I quickly found my inbox filled with emails from florists, reminding me that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching.
Thanks, everyone, I didn’t need that reminder.
Flowers Just Because
One of the many things about Emily I loved was the fact that she was very much a stereotypical girl. She loved wearing dresses and cute shoes. And, of course, she owned entirely too much makeup and loved any excuse she could find to justify spending an hour putting on a full face of it. We were very much opposites in this way, but I just found her girly ways so adorable and would often watch her in awe as she applied eye shadow or tried on dresses.
Anyway, because she was such a “girl,” she also loved receiving flowers. And, because I’m one of those hopeless romantic types who love sweeping my person off their feet, buying her flowers made me happy, too.
There were many occasions when I came home with flowers or sent flowers to her at work “just because.” Sometimes, like on our one-year anniversary, I had a justified reason to. Other times, like the Wednesday I sent them to her because she was having a bad day, I just decided to send them for no reason other than to make her smile. And that they did. Every single time.
Her coworkers never really seemed to understand the notion of sending flowers to someone because you love them. Whenever I’d send them to Emily, her coworkers would ask what I’d done wrong or what I was trying to butter her up for. And every time, she’d look at them and say, “Dude, some people just love each other and send each other flowers. She knows they make me happy.” Then she’d text me about it, and we’d laugh or make jokes about why heterosexual relationships suck.
Flowers on Valentine’s Day
I wasn’t the only one in the relationship to buy flowers. I just did it more frequently than Emily. However, she would occasionally buy them for me too, and it always made me smile.
My favorite flower story, however, is from Valentine’s Day weekend last year. Emily’s Mondays were always busy, and we didn’t have the kids the weekend before Valentine’s, so I planned a romantic date night for Saturday night. However, I kicked it off by getting Emily a dozen red roses (I know, so cliche) on Friday.
Little did I know Emily also got me a dozen roses, only she went with rainbow colored because, you know, we’re gay like that.
I’d never been in a relationship before where both people were so invested in making the other one happy. In fact, I think Emily did more in 18 months than other people did in a decade. And, it was very obvious that weekend, as we sat at the dinner table with two dozen roses in the middle, that we not only loved each other, but small gestures mattered to us both.
I Still Buy Her Flowers
Every time I’m in Knoxville, I make a point of taking flowers to Emily’s grave. Usually, it’s just a dozen roses in whatever color I can find at the Kroger I drive by on the way to the cemetery. However, I make a point to tell her about them and tell her that I love her when I place them next to the headstone.
I know that flowers die quickly, especially when you toss them on a grave. But, for me, it’s not the longevity or beauty that matters — it’s the sentiment behind why I bring them to her.
Because I love Emily, I buy her flowers. I know she loves and appreciates them because, well, she’s a girly girl. And, even though she’s not physically here to see or enjoy them the way she used to, I will still continue to buy them for her. I will never stop loving Emily, which means I will never stop buying her flowers. Because, in my mind, those flowers are one of the ways I showed her my love.