Saturday, November 8, 2008
The Miracle of the Flower Petals
Several weeks ago, one of our American Heritage Girls' moms called to tell me about a great opportunity for our girls. Each year before Veterans' Day, various groups traditionally place flags by each headstone at Veterans' Cemeteries throughout the country. Her sons were going to be participating in this, and she thought maybe our girls could place flower petals at each site, too, following an old tradition of girls placing a single flower on soldiers' graves. We though this was a fantastic idea and jumped on board immediately.
What we didn't anticipate was how difficult it would be to find a source for flower petals. Free flower petals, that is. We were turned down over and over again. Turns out lots of places sell flower petals and didn't want to donate them, even for this. On Thursday—with decorating day looming on Saturday— we were feeling close to panic without a single petal donated. (But with plenty of places willing to sell them to us!) And then I visited the flower shop which our church uses. She said she'd give me whatever petals she had on Friday, and gave me a phone number for a Knoxville Kroger store. I called that florist, and she said she'd give me everything she had on Friday, perhaps even 3 buckets full of rose petals.
We were feeling much relieved. On Friday Caroline revisited a Kroger that had previously sounded skeptical. That Kroger gave her about 14 bouquets, for a total of about 150 long-stemmed flowers: daisies and mums mostly. I stopped by the flower shop and she gave me about 2 buckets (2-gallon size) of fresh rose petals. We were feeling ecstatic.
This morning on our way to the cemetery, we stopped by the Knoxville Kroger, which had promised us 3 buckets of petals. We walked out with 6 buckets overflowing with beautiful petals.
We were overwhelmed and immensely grateful for this abundance of petals. Kind of reminds me of the loaves and fishes. Initially we hoped to have enough petals to decorate one section of the cemetery. Instead, we managed to leave petals at nearly every site and also placed the long-stem flowers at the wives' graves. Amazing.
My Mom and Dad came along, too. My Dad is a veteran of both World War 2 and the Korean War. You can read more about my father's experiences in the wars here.