A bouquet of wishes

A bouquet of wishes

Do you celebrate your birthday? I do. I love to mark each one. I don’t even mind that the numbers are getting big now, though not quite as big as my grandchildren tease (he says 150, she says 954). I wouldn’t mind a few additional years to accomplish even more, or at least try. But I know I am lucky to have had so many. Not everyone is as fortunate. And we never know how many days or years we will get. For this reason, I think we must enjoy every day and treat it as a gift. That’s why today is called the present, after all.

yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.

You could say that the prompt was beautifully timed to coincide with my birthday, although I hadn’t considered the connection and was struggling for a response until I received these beautiful flowers from my daughter and her partner.

a bouquet of wishes to make your day

It made me think of all the times in our lives when bouquets of flowers are given and received: to share love in both joyous and sorrowful times, or to simply say, “I’m thinking of you.” We are often urged to, regardless of the occasion, “Say it with flowers”. Flowers, chocolate and wine are always well-received. (I was going to say “go down well”, but I thought you might think I eat the flowers too. I don’t.)

I tried to “find” a story of a young boy gathering wildflowers for his teacher on the way to school, but he wasn’t willing to cooperate. Instead, I’ve gone for a BOTS, except for the ending. I hope you enjoy it.

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge - write about a bouquet

A Special Bouquet

As expected, they found her in her garden with a bouquet of fresh-picked flowers: daisies, forget-me-nots, peonies, zinnias, sprays of bleeding hearts and honeysuckle, a bottlebrush or two, a bunch of gumnuts and some greenery—to make each colour shine.

Her garden was her sanctuary, her confidante, her joy. She said families were like gardens, with beauty in variety. Every special day—birth, birthday, wedding, or funeral—she arranged a meaningful bouquet. In ninety-five years, she’d seen lives come and go. The last of nine, no doubt now who’d be next. How could she know this was her day?

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

66 thoughts on “A bouquet of wishes

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Norah Colvin, Sue Vincent and John Rieber | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Steven

    Another powerful fiction, well done Norah.

    There is nothing to dread about birthdays, for it is just a number. I felt no different on my 40th than on any previous birthday and don’t expect for that to change for future ones either. In some ways, it is a bit of an arbitrary number. If you think about it (and other than the fact that it might be difficult to determine in some cases), why don’t we celebrate the day some 40 weeks earlier? Wouldn’t that be a more appropriate indicator of ones age?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      You’re right, Steven. It is just an arbitrary number that doesn’t really mean a whole lot, though I think the further I get away from my 40th birthday, the more different each one (or I) feels. 🙂 If the date of conception was an exact science, I guess we could measure from there, but a difference in number wouldn’t really mean a change of any importance, would it?

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  3. Hugh's Views and News

    Happy Belated Birthday, Norah. And thank you for the beautiful gift you left us with sharing that wonderful piece of flash fiction with us. It certainly brought a lump to my throat.
    I’ve had too many bad birthdays that I’ve stopped celebrating them now. It all started when I kept seeing my birthday on the first gravestone I would look at when in or passing a graveyard. Fortunately, it falls at a time of the year when many people have their minds on something else, so it more or less gets forgotten anyway. I’m happy with that. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Hugh. I’m pleased you enjoyed the flash; sorry you had so many bad birthdays though. I don’t think I’d like to see my birthday on too many gravestones, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Charli Mills

    All the bouquets of joy are gathered up for you, Norah! Yes, the timing was perfect with your birthday! You deserve much celebration, after all, 954 years is impressive. Your grandchildren share your humor, it seems. I love your flash and can’t think of a more perfect ending! Cheers to another fine year of growth!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your bouquet of wishes, Charli. I wonder would 954 years be enough to achieve all I wish. I’d love to get a tenth of that in good health and with sound mind. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Jules

    Happy Birthday!

    I’d taken that first quote – My MIL’s favorite (though she was opposed to change) and did my own counted cross stitch for outside her retirement community room door. When she passed (made it pass ninety as well) – I took it back and think of her often, since I have it where I can see it daily.

    I do like your bit about family being a bouquet of different people – certainly true for mine 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you so much, Jules. It is a lovely quote, isn’t it, and so nice that it reminds you of your MIL. I hope we all get to live long and healthy way past 90. That’s my plan anyway. 🙂
      Sometimes families are like bouquets. Other times they’re like fruitcakes. LOL 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Jules

        Oh…fruitcakes. I do remember that tradition – or rather ‘pass the puck’…. I think the only way you could eat a piece of that dense ‘cake’ was to cut a sliver as thin as a piece of paper and then put it back in the tin… and the thing never seemed to decrease in size and lasted until someone made it magically disappear after several months. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  6. reunameit

    I’m overwhelmed by all the loving responses you received Norah. What a wonderful indication of the person you are. Great words. A lovely way to go… and yes, I don’t fear death and could wish 4 such a peaceful way to go. Blessings

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, my dear friend. I am rather overwhelmed myself. Would that we could all go so peacefully – when it’s our time to go. 🙂 Funny to write about a death on my birthday – but birth and death are just the bookends to this life with many stories in between.

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  7. dgkaye

    Wow, Norah this gave me goosebumps and a lump in my throat. ❤ And as for birthdays, I remember when I turned 40 it was hard to swallow and from there began dreading my birthdays and getting older. Finally, when I turned 50 my hubby drilled it into me that I should celebrate each year of life because I'm lucky to be on the right side of the green. He is so right. 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      He is right, and I totally agree with your Hub! My fortieth birthday was my worst day ever. Turning forty was the best thing about it. So many horrible things happened on that day, I used to dread it when I knew other people were turning forty, but fortunately, so far as I know, turning forty has been the worst thing for anyone I know. 🙂 Talk about a garbled statement, but I know what I mean. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. Sandy Briggs

    Norah, “As expected, they found her in her garden…The last of nine, how could she know…”. From beginning to end, a gem.
    Norah, happy birthday and thank you for the flowers. Sandy Briggs

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Sandy, and leaving such a warm message. I’m pleased you enjoyed my story. I appreciate your birthday wishes. I’ve been spreading the joy out all week. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  9. Annecdotist

    Happy birthday, Norah! I hope you have/had a lovely day. Although I don’t celebrate my actual birthday, I’m grateful for each passing day.
    I love your flash. We all have to die some time and what better way to end a life than in a deeply-loved garden.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  10. Miriam Hurdle

    ❤ ♫♪ Happy birthday to you ♪♫, Happy birthday to you ♪♫, Happy birthday dear Norah, ♪♫, Happy birthday to you ♪♫ ❤ ♫♪

    I like your flash. Thank you for the warning that the ending doesn't apply. Have a great year ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Miriam. I’m not sure that anyone else sang to me, so that’s very special. 🙂
      I’m pleased you picked up that the ending didn’t apply. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Thank you, Miriam. I guess I’m not sure about what applies and what doesn’t with BOTS either , Miriam. Perhaps my stories are really a bit loose to be BOTS. When I was writing this story, I had a very special person in mind. She loves her garden and her flowers and on every occasion gives a beautiful specially selected spray as a gift. She is incredibly thoughtful. While she is still alive and well, the other parts are true to her life. I’d love her to live all those years longer and go peacefully in the garden she loves when it is her time. I’m not going to say who as I don’t want to wish her an early demise. 🙂 Do you think that’s too loose?

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m so sorry to make you cry, Pauline, but I agree – I think it would be a wonderful way to go when one’s time has come: peacefully, and in a place you love, doing what you love. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could choose?

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  11. Pingback: A bouquet of wishes – The Militant Negro™

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