Thursday, January 19, 2006

Home Made Potpourri Part 2

Cont. from previous post...... The 'C' word......Cemetery. 'shudder' but I was getting nowhere calling florists so I picked up the phone and called the one nearest to me. I explained that I was a crafter needing old flowers that no one wanted any longer. I asked for permission to look in the rubbish bins. I'm sure the woman was taken aback, that it was an unusual request but she said she would transfer me to the Maintenance Dept. She did say that one concern would be liability - should I cut myself rummaging or fall off the bin. I was willing to sign papers stating I wouldn't sue, that's how badly I wanted some flowers! For those of you who are thinking to yourselves......why didn't she just BUY some? lol - you have no idea how many flowers it takes to make a few cups of potpourri. You saw the photo in the previous post? That was only HALF of what I had in my living room that day. Took me 4 hours to cut off the flowers, and 3 days to dry them all. From all of that - I got a large ziplock bag 3/4 of the way full. That's it. No way could I afford to go out and buy fresh flowers. So I was down to groveling. I was transferred to maintenance and of course no one was available to answer the phone so I left a brief message with my name and phone number but no one ever returned my call.
The next day I pulled out the yellow pages. I figured - I already embarrassed myself by calling a cemetary ( I just couldn't call another one ) I was going to try a funeral home climbing in garbage bins for me. I called the first one on my list asking what they do with the flowers that mourners do not take home with them and do not have sent to the cemetery. They donate all of theirs. I called the second one on my list, and explained why I was asking about unwanted flowers and the owner/Funeral Director was so nice and said that sometimes they also donate the flowers but they also throw them away as well. I asked if I would be able to have the flowers that would be thrown out. He said 'sure' :) he had some I could have right now ( the flowers you see in my living room!!) I was so excited, ( it doesn't take much) I was given a time frame that would be convenient to pick them up that very day but I had my 2 grandkids with me and didn't know for sure what time their daddy would be picking them up. My husband said he'd watch the kids but my little grandaughter wanted to go with me - she's 5 1/2. I figured the flowers were probably already outside waiting for me so I said she could come with me. I didn't see any flowers outside so I went inside the foyer and a gentleman happened to be in there already who also happened to be the owner/funeral director. He told me the flowers were in the back room and that his wife would show me where that was. He had this HUGE bird cage in the main sitting room, filled with birds and told my grandaughter she could sit there and watch them. She wasn't having any of that - while she likes birds she wasn't leaving my side. We walked into another room....and... now I understood about the bird cage. There was an open casket in there with an elderly woman in it. I honestly didn't think my grandaughter noticed it - it was elevated a bit so I gently nudged her to my other side and hugged her close as we walked through to the door into the room where the flowers were. Turns out if I had just parked my car out back I would have been 'there' and there would have been no need to go inside. But I didn't know.
My grandaughter and I loaded up the car, she was talkative, never saying a word about the casket so I was relieved and we were on our way back home.
About half way home she says ' Grammy, I saw a dead body '.
'You did? where honny?'. ' In that room we were in, it was an old old lady. Didn't you see her grammy?'.
'I must have missed that sweetie'. 'What happened to her Grammy?' She didn't seem upset in the slightest, was just asking questions. ' You said she was old so she may have been very sick or it was just her time to go be with God.' She seemed to consider this a moment and then said ' If she went to be with God, why is she in that box? ' I explained that when you die, your soul leaves your body which is only a house for your soul until you die. She said she learned about souls in religion class at school. That was the end of the conversation, she started to tell me about who was flag holder that day and wanted to know if I'd gotten her a Christmas present yet.
We pull into my driveway, and enter the house, my youngest daughter, aged 24 is laying on the couch watching TV. 'Hey Aunt Nicki I just saw a dead body!!!!'
My daughter looks up at me and says.....'MOM??!!!' I can't believe you took her in the funeral home!!!
That wasn't my intention, but I couldnt' leave her out in the car all by herself ( sob ).
I honestly don't feel it was a bad experience for her, probably because the old woman was a stranger, she had no ties to her. I'm sure it would have been traumatic had it been someone she knew/loved.
I got off the track a bit about the flowers - but this is the way it went down.
All those flowers in my living room. My daughter and my husband were not keen about that - they said it looked and smelled like a funeral home. That's why it took me 4 hours to cut off all those flowers, I didn't want them coming home the next day complaining they were still there.
Check back for Part 3 ~~ I haven't had my morning coffee yet and I'm hungry.

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