Newsflash: It takes water to keep cut flowers looking good.
I’m not sure why the thought, “What are we going to do with the flowers after the service?” didn’t cross my mind until about 10 minutes before my brother-in-law’s memorial service began.
As soon as the question blossomed in my mind, though, I was on a mission to make sure the standing arrangement and the urn arrangement my husband, his siblings and the spouses had given weren’t discarded as afterthoughts once the service was over.
This is a good place to mention what a wonderful job Belva’s Flowers of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., did. They were great communicators at every point in the process. If you ever need flowers in the Charleston, S.C., area, I highly recommend them.
A heart-shaped arrangement as close to garnet and gold as flower availability would allow, and an arrangement to surround the urn.
The next 36 hours before we left town involved me setting quite a few alarms for myself to “remember the flowers” so we could take them (and one other arrangement in a vase that had been given to the family) back with us.
The “taking the flowers back with us” part is where it got messy (and did I mention “drippy”?).
I had it in my head that we needed to keep the heart-shaped mold and the greenery from that arrangement. (The red roses had been taken off, some for Pat’s daughters to keep, some for his wife to keep and a few for me to have for whatever project I eventually decided upon.)
That left us with the task of wrangling the heart-shaped mold and greenery into a garbage bag. So far so good.
The arrangement that had surrounded the urn was pretty easy to work with, because it was small and shallow (but still drippy).
Finally, there was a large vase full of beautiful lilies that we agreed to do something with.
Drippy fallout number one
I took the heart-shaped mold into our AirBnB the night before we returned to Florida, thinking it wouldn’t be a good idea to leave it in the enclosed car overnight.
When Wayne went to pick it up from the spot where I had leaned it as we prepared to leave, we discovered (shocker) that its water had accumulated at the bottom of the bag and left a pool of water (why didn’t I think about this?!). Fortunately, it didn’t damage the wood floors of the AirBnB, but the pool of water was a surprise.
Drippy fallout number two
We (thought we had) wedged the large vase of lilies securely between several pieces of luggage so that it would not fall over on our hours-long drive back to Florida. We decided that, since we were stopping at my dad’s assisted living facility on the way, it would be nice to brighten the day of the residents with the vase of flowers.
We had heard some “shifting of items” in the back of the car as we had driven, but didn’t think too much of it.
It turns out that what had shifted was the large vase of lilies, resulting in leaked water in my car’s trunk.
The lilies now have a home at my dad’s assisted living facility. Hopefully they’re brightening someone’s day.
Drippy fallout number three
Just kidding. There isn’t really a drippy fallout number three. I put a towel down in my car’s trunk and left the windows cracked open the night we got home so it could dry out.
I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do (but it may be something from Simply Veronica, who I’ve used before), but I don’t think it will require the greenery from the arrangements.
After trips from Mount Pleasant, S.C., to Summerville, S.C., to Goose Creek, S.C., and ultimately to Tallahassee, Fla., all that drippy greenery in the heart mold is now in my trash can.
But I discovered along the way that my spouse was patient with my lack of a plan; he knew it meant something to me and that I was trying to see beyond our immediate grief to the ways we might want to remember Pat over the long term.
It’s not that he hasn’t been patient before, but that he was patient under difficult circumstances. I’m grateful.
This post is a response to the Kat Bouska prompt, “Tell us something new you learned about your significant other.”
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Laurie Stone says
Sounds like you had loving intentions and that’s what matters.
Paula Kiger says
Ha ha it is — but I didn’t quite think through the aftereffects (all that water). Between getting lost so many times and dealing with the wet flowers, it was definitely a trying week LOL
Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) says
I’m happy with our decision not to take more than a couple of arrangements home with us from my mother in law’s funeral, and we only had to go about 150 miles. We ended up taking small arrangements from a couple of relatives whose contributions meant a lot to us. I’m happy the lilies survived to take up residence in the assisted living facility.
Paula Kiger says
Yeah. With my mom’s funeral, they took the arrangements to the cemetery, but that wasn’t an option here. I was overthinking a bit (no surprise….) but I am glad I salvaged enough petals to have something made for my nieces and sister-in-law (and maybe me).