A Flower On My Windowsill

A Flower on my Windowsill

I heard the Lawn Boy start up in the back yard. Every door in the house was open including the tool house and the garage. It was ‘happy yard day’ for Jay, my energetic gregarious husband. Even the neighbors knew it. He whistled while he worked, talked loud and waved to every person in sight. This was Big Daddy, a papaw who had certainly earned his wide berth around this house. It was just a natural thing for the family to honor him, laugh at him, and serve him. He was provider, playful and charming.


Jay instructing how to mow angles
Jay instructing how to mow angles | Source

Mowing in style

The garb was always the same. Laced up yard boots, long gray pants, long sleeve shirt, gloves and a golf hat with lines of dried sweat .

All this on a 6’2 frame, with pot belly. I knew without doubt that he would either rap on the window or ring the doorbell and ask for a glass of water or a tool from the garage.

Jay was large and in charge.


Yard weed
Yard weed
My windowsill
My windowsill | Source

The yellow flower



On one of these days I was standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. I heard the lawn mower go into idle mode and a few seconds later he was at the back door.

Bam! Bam! Bam! It startled me and I dropped a dish in the sink.

Again, Bam! Bam! Bam!

I was Irritated. I patted my wet hands on my shirt, and stomped to the back door, flung it open and yelled, “WHAT!!”

There he stood, hot and sweaty and covered with cut grass. He held out a gloved hand and in the palm was a tiny little yellow flower.

“Look at that,” he said. “You know that old weed we’ve been trying to kill? It bloomed. It was so cute, I hated to cut it. I wanted you to see it.”

He picked it up, smiled and inspected it and handed it to me.

I went back to the dishes and laid the small treasure on the windowsill, amused at the sweetness of this big old funny sweaty man ....

and the tenderness he felt for this little yellow flower.


For you
For you
Single flower
Single flower

Always Flowers

Come to think of it, Jay always had an appreciation for flowers. I remember when we were dating at 17, he would ride the #7 Crosstown bus to my house and walk three blocks to my house. He kept a small red pocket knife on his key chain and would cut a single flower out of some lady’s flower bed and bring it to me. It never stopped, even in hard times. It didn’t have to be a special occasion. Often a trip to the grocery store, an arrangement or single flower would catch his eye, and he would bring it home. I never gushed over them. Maybe I took him for granted.


Devastating news

The year 2008 brought some devastating news. He was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. Right before my eyes I saw a strong, vibrant man slowly dwindle to a shadow. His eyes remained bright, his spirit, one of hope.

Although his body was betraying him, his love of life was never affected. Every day he sat in a lawn chair facing the driveway and waved to neighbors. I would take him a cup of coffee and make small talk of landscapes, family, and old friends.


Home Depot garden center
Home Depot garden center

Trip to Home Depot

Then one day , a thought struck me. I made a trip to Home Depot and rummaged through the garden department. It was full of blooming plants.

I found a rolling cart and filled it with perennials and bags of top soil and mulch. I went home and donned my garden clothes and shoveled at least 8 inches deep all down the driveway edge, adding top soil.

Jay was watching. He advised me on alternating colors, nodding his head yes. Adding pine bark mulch was the finishing touch. Then I stepped back to admire my work of art.


You did that for me?

I reached down and pinched off a small yellow bloom and took it to him. Pure delight was in his eyes as he guided my hand to his nose to gently smell it.

“You did that for me, didn’t you?” he said . And it dawned on me, all these years he had brought me flowers and this is the first time I had given them to him. Now I know the signifigance!

Flowers are symbols transending feeling. A devotion deeper than words.


Memories by Barbra Striesand

More by this Author


Comments 34 comments

lisa 4 years ago

I cried remembering my daddy and the special relationship yall had. Yall got something right. I love you mom!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello annadavis25. This is the most beautiful thing I have read today. Very fitting for Valentines month I'd like to add. You have expressed your life long love very well.


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Ann I cant stop the tears. This was the most wonderful, beautiful hub I have ever read. Touched my heart on so many levels. I pray all those flowers come back every year reminding you of your precious Jay, a lovely man. Then I read Lisas comment and I felt such sadness for your family. I do not know what to say except thank you for sharing this..reminding us to not take one day for granted. I pray you draw from you memories and they bring you warmth and love everyday.

Love,

Sunnie


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Ann I cant stop the tears. This was the most wonderful, beautiful hub I have ever read. Touched my heart on so many levels. I pray all those flowers come back every year reminding you of your precious Jay, a lovely man. Then I read Lisas comment and I felt such sadness for your family. I do not know what to say except thank you for sharing this..reminding us to not take one day for granted. I pray you draw from you memories and they bring you warmth and love every day.You have shared with me many times about the love of your life. Thank you Ann..

Love,

Sunnie


nextgoodthing profile image

nextgoodthing 4 years ago from Miami,Fl

Hi Ann, memories are precious and certainly Jay is one of your life's treasures.Next time you smell a flower and feel him around, believe! because he really is around! Thank you for this wonderful story!


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Your writings are so beautiful, I loved reading it. Your flowers in kitchen window looked gorgeous. Voted up and awesome.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Oh Ann!! Your hub brought tears to my eyes. I can't believe what I have just read, it is so very touching. What wonderful memories, how very precious. You just made my night. I am very glad to have found this hub. I am at a loss for words, but again, I am very touched. Flowers are no small thing, gardening, and enjoying love and our loved ones, a precious thing forever.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Ann,

So sorrowfully beautiful, it touched my heart and I will never forget this hub, everytime, I see your sweet face on HP.

I wish I could have been a friend for you during this time--and I pray now that you had many friends and family to love and support you.

I know it was difficult for you to share this with us, and I pray by doing so--you have healed a little more by talking about it.

My love to you and yours.

Bobbi


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello ann, this is the most beautiful, touching hub I have ever read, tears are running down my cheeks as I try to comment,

I'm sorry I can't find the right words to say, maybe I will come back later.

Much love to you and Lisa.

Lesley


Gus 4 years ago

Beautiful, Ann. Wonderful memories of a wonderful man!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

What a beautiful story! It's seems useless trying to say anything more.


deborah wildes berger 4 years ago

Ann ~ it's Deborah ~ Michelle and Melanie Wildes' mother from the "school days" of our girls. How VERY special. I am actually spending a few days with a dear friend whose husband I also knew and loved. They were married 55 years before the Lord took him home last month. I intend to share this with her. Love Deborah


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Thanks mckbirdbks. I feel uplifted by your comment.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

I am thrilled at your comment. So happy to have touched your feelings. Yes, we do draw from the memories. We are not sad anymore. We are feeling blessed to have had Jay's spirit around us so many happy years. Thank you Sunnie.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

You are right nextgoodthing. We do feel him all around. Through every flower. Thanks for the sweet comment.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Thank you writer20. So happy you enjoyed this hub. And thank you for your votes. You are so loyal. I see you are at level 8. I am hung on 5.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

You make me feel so good, Ocean. I am pleased to touch your feelings. You are so kind. Thank you.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Purvis, so happy that I touched your heart. I am honored to have your friendship on HP. You are very encouraging and generous with praise and appreciation. Thank you so very much. AD


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

MovieMaster. Your heartfelt comment means so much to me, coming from such a talented writer as yourself. I thank you will all my heart. AD


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Hello MsDora. So thrilled you stopped by, and thank you so much for the compliment. See you again. AD


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Thank you Deborah...I'm writing you a message on face book because I don't thin you'll get this message, since you are not on HP.


seejenrun64 4 years ago

That is the truest love, the kind that touches your heart and never lets go. Thanks you for sharing your love story.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

I know that I am sooooo blessed seejenrun. Thank you for dropping by. Ann Davis


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Oh Ann--I cried! What a wonderful gift you gave him and us! Sharing this wonderful story!


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Thank you Audrey, glad you stopped by. Have a good day.


Nikki 4 years ago

Ms. Ann you have a gift! You have a way of painting a picture with your written word that is so beautiful and can penetrate hearts deeply. I wish you would write a book. I really do. Thank you for sharing. I love the precious story of the flower. I will never look at a yellow flower again without thinking of Jay. Won't heaven be so wonderful though? I imagine he will have a great big garden full of flowers just for you and he will be standing there in his golf hat holding a little yellow one just for you! (Write that book! ;)


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Thanks Nikki. That's a nice thought of Jay waiting with a flower. Glad you stopped by. Love, Ann


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

This is so beautiful I am crying.. tell me is he better? what is going on? I love your hub.

debbie


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Ann,

I am typing this with tears in my eyes. Your hub has touched me deeply and made me think of all of my family members who are now gone and who also loved flowers. May the ones you planted for your precious Jay continue to bloom brightly for you and remind you always of the love and life you shared. Up votes and sharing this with others.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Deborah, thank you. For loving this hub. I lost Jay not long after I planted those flowers. They still bloom reminding me of what a lucky lady I was to have one so devoted to me. I learned from him. I'm passing on the tradition. Come visit me again. Bye bye for now. Ann


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, like others above me, this brought me to tears, I don't think I have ever read such a heart tugging story as this, what a lovely man, and the flowers must remind you so much of him, thanks for sharing your story, nell


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl. Author

Hi Nell Rose. So happy you came by. I appreciate your wonderful appraisal of my story. Ann Davis


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Oh Ann-Your story gave me goosebumps and tears in my eyes. God Bless you for listening to your inner voice and giving your husband a garden. I am very moved right now!


Jean Littleton 3 years ago

Ann the reading touched me. I am dealing with Riley and alzheimers. I thank God each day we have that is good. I worry about what I will do if someday I wake up and he does not know me. But we have had 57 good years together so far and I feel blessed. We have a good family So I know that God will see us through whatever comes our way He was like your Jay always got me a rose for Valentine until the last few years when he doesn't remember

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