Giving someone you love a bouquet of flowers is one of the oldest traditions in the world. How do I know? Archeologists have found evidence of floral gifts at ancient excavation sites in China, Greece, Rome, and Egypt, coming from civilizations that predate recorded history. Whether giving flowers is part of man's natural inclination, or stems (no pun intended) from a long-forgotten myth or superstition, I cannot say, but what I do know is that the gesture means just as much today as it ever did.
Something that makes a gift of flowers especially unique is its versatility. Whether presented at a wedding, funeral, birthday party, or hospital, they are meaningful. Joyous or tragic, flowers are there, through the most memorable and important events in our lives. For one widow in West Virginia, however, joy and tragedy recently commingled in one of the most loving gestures we have ever seen.
Kayla Miller was at work on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, when she saw something exciting – her coworker had received a delivery of a large bouquet of multi-colored roses. Like many in the office, Kayla was curious to know who had sent such a lovely arrangement, and soon a small crowd had gathered for a closer look. As Kayla heard her coworker explain the story behind the roses, she knew she had to share it with Facebook. After all, it's not every day that you see a love as true as this one.
Here is the bouquet that was delivered to Kayla's coworker. It's definitely beautiful, but nothing out of the ordinary, right?
As Kayla found out, nothing could be further from the truth. Here's the story in her own words as she shared on Facebook.
“I get to witness a real-life P.S. I Love You story. These flowers were delivered to work today for a lady I work with. They are from her husband who passed away two years ago. Every holiday/ birthday since his passing she has been receiving flowers, presents, and jewelry from him. Before he passed he lined all of this up for her so she wouldn't feel alone on those days that would be the hardest to spend apart. I am sharing this story not only because it's amazing and it warms my heart, but to show girls that true love is real. You don't have to settle for someone because you think no one else will love you. You don't have to put up with being cheated on or lied to or being talked down to. You are a prize to be won, and there is someone out there that will love you forever and even through the afterlife. I hope this brightens your day and P.S. I Love You. “
Her coworker's husband had made all the necessary arrangements for his wife to keep receiving flowers long after he was gone. The amount of love and planning that went into his gesture is just incredible, and to anyone familiar with the book P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern or 2007 film adaption starring Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler, a bit familiar.
In P.S. I Love You, a young man dies of a brain tumor, leaving behind his devastated wife. Suddenly, the widow begins receiving letters from her late husband, letters that he wrote before passing away. This act of love and comfort propels the widow on a journey of self-discovery and, with her late husband's help, she finally finds peace.
In 2013, another similar story from Sue Johnston, a 68-year-old from Houston, Texas, was published in Redbook magazine. It quickly went viral on Twitter.
“My sweet husband, John, and I were married for 46 years. Each Valentine's Day he'd send me the most beautiful flowers containing a note with five simple words: 'My love for you has grown.' Four children, 46 bouquets, and a lifetime of love were his legacy to me.
On my first Valentine's Day alone, 10 months after I lost him, I was shocked to receive a gorgeous bouquet addressed to me … from John. Angry and heartbroken, I called the florist to say there had been a mistake. The florist replied, 'No ma'am, it's not a mistake. Before he passed away, your husband prepared for many years and asked us to guarantee that you'd continue getting bouquets every Valentine's Day.' With my heart in my throat, I hung up the phone and read the attached card. It read, 'My love for you is eternal.'”
If you're not crying yet, this last story will definitely do you in. This couple from Mississippi, Jimmy and Billie, were married for over 60 years before Billie passed away in 2015. Jimmy didn't expect to hear from his beloved wife ever again.
Billie, however, had planned ahead, leaving a note behind in her husband's wallet.
“Please don't cry because I died!
Smile because I lived!
Know that I'm in a happy place!
Know that we will meet again!
I'll see you there!"
From flowers to notes, each one of these gestures is a powerful example of love. It's hard to imagine the emotion that hearing from a loved one “beyond the grave” would bring. Certainly happiness and sadness, but I think above all, the warm and fuzzy comfort of knowing just how much they cared.
Don't forget to SHARE these stories of true love with your friends and family!