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5 Inspiring Stories of Angelic Flowers

A special flowery delivery, a meaningful flower shop and a rainbow of zinnias all make up this compilation of touching stories.

Illustration of an angel watering flowers; By Daniela Terrazzini
Credit: By Daniela Terrazzini

The Language of Flowers

by Roberta Messner from Huntington, West Virginia

Ding dong! I looked up from the couch. Who in the world could that be? My body wracked with debilitating illness, I’d hidden myself away, isolating from everyone and everything. Friends telephoned, texted, emailed, sent cards. I didn’t respond, telling God in my prayers that I had nothing to offer anyone in the sorry shape I was in.

I reluctantly got up and opened the door to a flower delivery. As I put the bouquet on my dining table, I was struck by its uniqueness. It was comprised of solitary blossoms of many varieties that shouldn’t really go together yet somehow did. The mystery bouquet had come in a blue Mason jar, without a card.

Instead of retreating to the couch, I telephoned the florist. He told me some of my friends were behind the delivery, anonymously. “They wanted to get a message to you,” he said, “through the language of flowers.”

The group had followed him from cooler to cooler and picked very specific stems after consulting an old book. “I learned some things,” the florist said, then explained. The red carnation meant, “Our hearts ache for you.” The daisy announced loyal love; the jaunty sunflower, adoration; the iris, faith and hope. The yellow tulip wanted to see sunshine in my smile again. The blue hyacinth recalled my constancy. The pink carnation had a few words to say about never forgetting me.

The more I understood what the flowers were saying, the more I started to remember the woman who might have earned them before I hid myself away. My friends knew I was still that woman, with value beyond my health.

Fresh Start

by Cynie K. Murray from Patagonia, Arizona

I turned over the brown bag I’d found outside after our move. “Grass Seed,” it said in big black letters. My husband and I spread the seeds all over the dirt yard in front of our new house. “I have no idea if the seeds will root,” I told him, “but it’s worth a shot.”

Kind of like our decision to move onto the large property in rural Arizona. The main house, a beautiful cottage, was rented out by the landowner to visitors. Our modest home sat nearby, so that I could look after the cottage and upkeep on the whole property. I’d worked in hospitality for years, so when I was offered the job, we jumped at the chance. Still, it was a big change. I prayed that it would turn out to be the right decision.

While we waited for our grass to grow—or not—we settled in and slowly got used to the routine. Our house became a home, even if the front yard left a lot to be desired. A bunch of the cottage guests became regulars, and we got to know them well. I took a lot of pride in my work to make their stays memorable. Perhaps I was better at that than growing grass.

But after a summer monsoon moved through, I woke up to a beautiful morning and looked out the window. There was no grass growing in the sunlight. Instead, our yard was covered in a rainbow of zinnias. Our front yard had turned out even better than I could have imagined, just like our new life.

Special Arrangements for Every Occasion

by Elaine Scott from West Chester, Pennsylvania

I stood in the door of our flower shop, watching the staff work on arrangements and talk with customers. Among the employees was Emily, my 25-year-old daughter. Together, my friend Colleen and I had truly created an amazing space.

I first met Colleen 15 years ago, at an event for the Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group, right after her daughter, Katie, was born. The group helped other families like ours navigate the life of having a child with Down syndrome. “It’s such a challenge to help our daughters find employment,” I said to Colleen one day. She agreed. When we learned that only 20 percent of adults with special needs have jobs that pay a typical wage, we were determined to make a difference. And not just for Emily and Katie.

In January 2021, we were approached by an organization that owned a flower shop, hoping we could use it to further our goal. It was a dream come true. We created the Kati Mac Education Foundation and reopened the shop as a nonprofit. Ten out of our 14 employees have special needs.

As I watched the bustling flower shop around me, I listened to the spirit-lifting playlist Emily had picked out herself. She greeted customers and answered their questions, while Katie worked with her mom to create a stunning arrangement for a customer’s special occasion. The aroma of roses and freesia, peonies and lilies was heavenly, but it was our employees who made the flower shop a place for angels.

Birds and Blooms

by Linda P. Varela from Kuna, Idaho

My friend Victoria called me early one Saturday morning. I wandered the quiet house while we made small talk. “How are you really doing?” she finally asked.

“I’m okay,” I said. Victoria knew that my canary, Lada, had recently died. She’d managed to live two years after the death of her brother, Enchi. I’d owned birds all my life, but these two were special. Enchi and Lada were completely white, with soft, snowy feathers like angels. They were happy birds with playful personalities, and I could hear them from any room in the house. “I would give anything to know they are near again,” I said.

As Victoria listened to me reminisce, I wandered over toward the balcony, where I kept potted plants. “Remember that clipping you gave me from your cactus?” I said. “I see that it’s sprouted two beautiful flowers, whiter than white.”

“How did you do that?” she asked. “The mother plant has never flowered for me.”

“I didn’t do anything,” I said. “It must be a gift from Enchi and Lada.” I had a good friend who was always willing to listen and two white flowers from my angel-birds that now seemed very near.

A Sprig of Relief

by Cynda Gray from Stratford, Connecticut

My eyes were red, my nose stuffy, my throat sore. And I was stuck in a crowded, overheated subway car, standing between two New Yorkers in giant puffy winter coats. This was the last place I wanted to be when I was feeling crummy, but I had a big meeting at work.

Help me, Jesus. I need to relax! I closed my eyes, pretending I was anywhere else. The eucalyptus steam room at a fancy spa, perhaps? I actually inhaled. If only…

The subway lurched to a stop. A few people got out. About a million more got on, including a woman with an enormous plant. She headed my way, then crammed herself into a space by me, the plant slapping me in the face.

Oh, come on! I was about to make a snarky comment when I got a whiff.

Even with only one working nostril, I realized there was no mistaking it. Eucalyptus! The woman smiled and handed me a sprig. I pressed it to my nose. That eucalyptus steam room? Right here.

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