This I Believe

Stefanie - Salem, New Hampshire
Entered on December 14, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

For the past six or seven years, I have been employed part time at a local florist in my home town. The owner is a friend of the family and has been very flexible with my school and extracurricular schedule. Every person that I work with at the florist is an amazing individual. I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to get to know them and to allow them to get to know me. At the flower shop, my main job is to assist customers in their selection of flowers. As a florist, it is important to understand that each customer has come into the shop for a reason. All customers have the commonality that they are there to purchase flowers, but the occasion that the flowers are intended for varies between each customer that enters Flowers by Constantine.

Every customer has a story. There is the occasional person who plows through the door, grabs their flowers from the bucket without taking a second glance to pick the best ones, pays for them, and plows back out. They are usually the shallow boyfriends who are only buying the flowers for their girlfriends because society says it is a nice thing to do. With the exception of these people, most customers take their time and are sure to pick out the best arrangement for their intended receiver.

One day a woman entered the shop. It was easy to tell from first glance that she was not a “shallow-Hal”, but a passionate elderly woman who needed help with her decision. As I approached her, we tossed smiles back and forth and greeted each other with an honest “How are you?” I recognized her as a regular customer, her name was B. We had spoken many times, not only in the flower shop but also at my other job. B would often come into Bickford’s for several cups of coffee while I waited on her table. But for some reason, I could tell that today she did not come to the flower shop for her usual red carnation to bring home to her granddaughter. There was the glisten in her eye and the tired look on her face. When B stood at the counter and looked into my eyes, I new immediately that Peter had passed away. B’s husband was her closest companion. She did not get along well with her daughter, they only spoke when Chloe (the granddaughter) was being dropped off or picked up from B’s house.

Although it may have taken over an hour past the end of my shift, together B and I picked and chose the perfect flowers for Peter’s services. There was nothing in the suggestion booklets that appealed to B so I was able to draw from her mind a replica of what she wanted. She was not interested the normal gladiolas for Peter’s services. They were too common and too much of a “funeral flower”, she said. Rather than glad’s, B chose orange snap dragons which we were able to incorporate into the ideal funeral pieces for Peter.

A couple of weeks following the services, I received a note in the mail from B. She had mailed it too the flower shop to thank everyone for making such a beautiful display for Peter. On the bottom of the note, she had written a PS. B wanted to send and extra special thank you to me for having so many patients and for making the process much easier than she had anticipated. She stated that grieving the loss of your closest loved one is harder than many people know and, without the help of friends, it is nearly impossible. I, being a seventeen year old girl, was able to help a sixty-five year old woman so much that she considered me her “friend”.

It is amazing to see how just simply taking time out of our busy lives can affect other people in such a positive way. I believe that B and I truly had a profound effect on one another that created a feeling inside of me that will last a lifetime.