Last night, we got together with some friends we have known for 24 years. We've all been married about the same length of time. We're fairly close in age and we have faced some similar "battles" over the years. The evening was filled with laughter as we recalled God's faithfulness in bringing us through storms. All of us have been battered but we're still all here.
Then our friends started to tell us about a Love and Respect conference they had just attended. She told us that her husband had bought her flowers for the first time in 26 years. Now, before you start thinking badly about him, I need to quickly say that this is the same man the stamped out "I love you, Dawn" in the snow when she was hospitalized for two months after a near fatal accident two months after their marriage. He was working full time, going to school and of course, they had no money. He couldn't get to the hospital until after visiting hours and they refused to let him in to see his wife. He then told them to make sure she was looking out the window and under the streetlights he stamped out his message.
Twenty-six years ago, he'd bought his wife flowers and they died two days later. She told us that they both looked at the dead flowers and he said, "Wow. That was a waste of money." and that was the end of it. She never got flowers again until last week. Now he understands.
This story caused me to remember an incident which occurred 29 years ago, when my husband and I were dating. I thought I'd share it here. Enjoy!
It was the spring of 1980. Over the past seven months, "the guy" I would later marry and I had been driving up into the mountains of southeastern Tennessee to a little African-American church a friend of ours was pastoring. It was a single room church with no indoor plumbing. All of the members were over 60 except for one. Only a couple of people had jobs. About half of them had health problems. Would we come and lend a hand? We did our best, God blessed and the little church started to burst at the seams. How those dear saints loved this young couple from "down at the college"!
One Sunday, on a beautiful spring day, we left to head back down to school. As usual, the service had run very late and we knew the cafeteria would be closed by the time we got back to the dorms. We were trying to figure out where we could get something to eat for as little money as possible when suddenly "that guy", slammed on the brakes. He pulled the car over to the side of the road, jumped out, ran across the road and disappeared into the ditch. I sat there in shock. What on earth was going on? What had he seen? Was someone in trouble?
He suddenly came running out of the ditch triumphantly carrying...a bouquet of blue flags which he had just cut. He hopped back into the car, deposited them into my lap and we drove off. I buried my face into the flowers.
"Thanks for the flowers." I said.
"Flowers? What flowers?" he asked. "These flowers." I replied.
"Oh, those flowers? What makes you think they're your flowers?" he said with a wink and a smile.
He's been saying that ever since; every time he gives me flowers.
While the actual flowers soon faded, in my heart they're still as fresh and beautiful as they day they were picked...29 years ago.
My sweetie does the same thing. it's usually me, the cheap one, that says flowers are a waste of money, but my hubby often picks wildflowers and brings them to me. he learned by observing his granddaddy.
Wonderful stories. Treasure the love.