This situation happened years ago, but I still think about it from time to time.
I was working in a large hospital on the medical-surgical floor and the husband of one of my patients phoned repeatedly with questions about flowers.
Patient’s husband call 1: Can I bring flowers to my wife.
Patient’s husband call 2: Are there certain flowers I’m not allowed to bring?
Me: bring any flowers you like.
Patient’s husband call 3: I’ve got the florist on hold, are roses okay?
Me: Roses are GREAT!
Patient’s husband call 4: Is there a limit to the number of flowers? Can I bring a lot?
Me: Bring as many as you like
Thinking - just quit calling and let me get to work (!)
Well, he showed up with 50 -yes, FIFTY- big red roses. Standing by his recovering wife’s side he said, “Today we’re celebrating 50 happy years of marriage, and---“
She elbowed him, interrupting. “We are NOT!”
He went on “50 happy years and that’s not a bad average out of 53.”
She looked at me, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We’ve been married 53 years.” She studied the clock. “In two hours and twenty minutes it will be exactly 53 years.”
But I knew what he was talking about. He didn’t deny the 53 years, but said that 50 of them were happy and that “wasn’t a bad average.”
I don’t know what a “good average” is, but three years seems like a lot of unhappy days. I know marriage is built on good times and bad times and helping each other through the worst times.
This man with his massive bouquet of roses really reminded me to do my best to make every day of my marriage full of love. Because those days add up to weeks and months and years.
When William and I hit 53 years, I hope we’re celebrating 52+ years of happiness!
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