Well, How About That?
My super hero, being the super hero that he is, bought me roses for Valentine’s Day (see Sliding Days & Sliding Doors from March 2021). Without fail, when he buys me flowers, I receive an extra something, too, because his is, quite frankly, something extra among men. Whether chocolates, or cookies, or stuffed animals, or unique vases, or balloons, my curiosity piques when I unbox the gift to see what else he thought to send my way. On this occasion, the mylar balloon rises from beneath the vase and the entire display brightens the kitchen completely. He likes picking out items he knows will make me smile, but truly the best part of the unwrapping is reading the card and seeing the words he selected to tell me he loves me.
This time when the flowers pass their prime, I let them sit until they reach way past their prime, because I hate to part with this tangible reminder of him at my kitchen table. I decide to save two flowers in their muted crimson to remind me of his last gift before he left for his adventure. In their dry, fragile state, I doubt they will survive until his return, but I don’t want to discard the small reminders and joys he brings to my life. I’ve said goodbye to too much and especially the last glimpses of the man I love. Even just this week he surprised me with a video call and I immediately snagged a screen shot of him in his work attire just to have a latest reminder of what he looks like this week. When I lift the vase to say goodbye to the other ten dead blooms, I notice a folded tag beneath the vase.
The Little Things
As mentioned, his cards delight me, but this little tag might be different. When my superhero arranged the flowers for my enjoyment, the balloon came tied to a weighted, flat placard designed to keep its lightness of helium from floating away. He wanted the balloon to appear at the exact right height, to not be in the way of the dozen buds on their long stems, so he meticulously folded the card so the ribbed ribbon lowered the height of the balloon to the exact right height. He then placed the vase squarely on the card to keep it fixed. This detail would be overlooked by almost anyone else, especially a member of the opposite sex, but he took the initiative to create an ideal arrangement down to the exact elevation of the balloon above the flowers.
This tiny gesture presents an enormous example of how deeply he cares. He wanted every element of the display and the gesture to be examined and arranged down to the finest detail. This same man sends me photographs of nature, of sunrises, of mountains, and of tiny moments of joy. I recognize how thoughtful and diligent and attentive and affectionate this man represents himself with a generous gift and a meticulous gesture. After the flowers have faded and discarded, I pick up the card and I hold it and I cry because each day I find another reason to love him more dearly no matter how many time zones between us. Today’s reminder reveals itself as a folded length of ribbon holding a balloon in place.