Planting memories of Dad
By Margaret Melloy Guziak
Mike, my husband’s dad, was a good, family man. Widowed years earlier by the death of his loving wife, he lived to be 98 years old. He supported in spirit and familial love everything that his own children and numerous grandchildren and great-children did. He was the patriarch of the family and we loved him for it.
How beautiful the flowers and plants were that arrived at the funeral home for the rosary and wake, and for the church the next morning. There was one large bouquet, purchased and designated “From your family.” Mike would have enjoyed them all. Some of the family members read the gift cards on each one and acknowledged the sender when they arrived in person with a hug and a handshake. There were flowering plants in earthenware pots and bouquets of roses, tall and formal standing in frosted, glass vases. There were hardy yellow and white mums and simple greenery, spilling over the sides of ceramic pots holding them. There were lily blossoms peeking through shiny, long-stemmed leaves.
As more plants arrived, they were quickly re-arranged on the long tables, with the taller ones in the back, so everyone could gather around, admire and sniff each individual bloom if they wanted to do so. The fresh, floral scents and the varying colors of the blossoms were a glorious diversion to the understandably, sad thoughts each person felt while we silently acknowledged our own loss of a friend, a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather.
The funeral director assured the family that the flowers would be taken to adorn the church’s altar for the funeral Mass the next morning, and they were. After that, some volunteered to take the floral displays over to the hall so we could appreciate them again at the celebration dinner, scheduled immediately after the cemetery burial.
Why am I telling you all this? Simple. In today’s world, some folks think that flowers are “wasteful because they do not last, and the deceased person cannot see them”. Many obits read “in lieu of flowers, a donation has been made to”…. But why can’t both be done? The plants can be offered to family members after the funeral dinner to take home as a remembrance, as our family did. Or they could be taken to local nursing homes or hospitals for someone in need of a pick me up.
Consider this …
“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.” (John Ruskin, English essayist)
“Can we conceive what humanity would be like if it did not know flowers?”(Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian poet).
Dad’s indoor, shiny, green-leafed plant sits proudly in a corner of my dining room in a large, white planter on an antique, oak table. At various times during the year, a white, lily-like shoot bursts up through the green, shiny leaves. Whenever the plant blooms again, it reminds me of the family event and the cold evening when we hustled the blooming plant from our SUV into a Wyoming motel, while shielding it from the powerful Wyoming winter winds and the vertically-falling, blinding, snowstorm we’d experienced on our drive home.
If you’d like to deal with a local business, you can order flowers from Fruita’s only florist, Jimmie Downer, owner of “Flowers by Jimmie”, located at 218 E. Aspen Street. Besides supporting local events at FMHS and other places, she employs local people to work in the store’s busy seasons. If you’re planning a future wedding or anniversary celebration, her shop should be your first stop.
In addition to flowers, Jimmie has a wide assortment of gifts. We all know every woman needs and appreciates an unexpected gift at some point in her life, so surprise her. Jimmie and her staff will give you personal attention. If you want to share with her any details of the event or the person for whom your gift is intended, she is ready to listen.
You can call her (970)858-0100. You will not get a recording telling you to ‘push 1” or “push 2”. This charming lady is the ‘real stuff”, and if you haven’t met her yet, stop in and say “hello” when you are downtown.
Camilla is back
She and her two young daughters have returned from a month-long trip to Sweden to visit her family who reside there. Visit their restaurant, “Camilla’s Kafé”, owned by Camilla and her husband, Aaron, on E. Aspen in downtown Fruita. Look over the inviting menu. Not a franchise, you will be served the finest food and drinks by her pretty waitresses.
While you’re there ladies, ask her how she managed to safely travel abroad with two young daughters and come back smiling. Our hat is off to her! BTW, her 4-year old daughter, Isabella, speaks fluent Swedish. How cool is that! And Camilla’s mother flew back with them to Fruita for a visit, so she and Isabella can continue to converse in both English and Swedish every day while she is here.