Everyone has a story. Some stories will make you weep. Some stories will make you sing with joy. Some stories are better left unwritten or unspoken. This story will probably only touch the heart if you're like me - the lady who cries over the old Hallmark card commercials.
This is simply....the story of the rose.
On 27 July 2008, my beloved Riley & I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. Yes, there is indeed an account written of our 37th. On the day before he was to leave to go back to Iraq, he disappeared for several hours. No explanation before or after other than "I have something to take care of". Sometimes it is better to just leave things as they are.
On the first Tuesday after his departure, there was a knock on the apartment door. I opened the door to find myself facing a middle aged gentleman who held out a single red rose in a vase and with my answer "Yes" to his question "Are you Sharon?", I found myself holding the vase - befuddled and confused. I read the note twice..... "24 Tuesdays left! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Love, RileyD, nwJ". In the event you are wondering what "nwJ" means....simply nothing without Jesus. As to the scripture....this is the one we would say in unison as one of us would drop off the other at work. Every. Single. Day. Monday. thru. Friday. Until the day I retired.
On the second Tuesday after my beloved's departure, a single rose in a vase was once again delivered. The note read "23 Tuesdays left! You are my life mate, my wife, my love. Love RileyD, nwJ".
And every Tuesday, this has been going on...a single rose in a vase.
Now comes the TRUE story of the rose.
Riley had disappeared for that period of time on the day before he left to visit Ed Smith Florist....a florist we had used for many years. His quest was a simple one - how much to have a single rose delivered to his wife every Tuesday until he was reunited with his wife. The lady replied "30 dollars, sir". Riley, the ever conservative, said "is there a way I could have this done a little cheaper - maybe $20 per week? I have enough here to do that". Now "here" meant, his spending money I had put aside in an envelope since he left for Iraq. Yes, even at our mature age, we are on a budget and we allow each other $50 every two weeks for spending money. The woman said she would have to call her husband who was working at the base. After getting her husband on the phone, she held the phone out to Riley - he wanted to talk to Riley about his request. Riley then explained he was heading back to Iraq tomorrow and was there any way they could possibly deliver a rose to his wife every Tuesday for $20.00. That was the most he could afford with money in hand. This wonderful gentlemen then told Riley they would do this for him for $10 a week and God bless him for protecting our country. Now, I might not have gotten this entirely correct - but the essence was captured properly - of that I am sure.
The story of the rose.
And so it goes. Today is Tuesday...."16 Tuesdays left! Once again, love blooms new as we separate. Love, RileyD, nwJ".
Praise God for putting this man into my life - and putting me in his life.
We are truly blessed.