Bob showing me his orange pouch with the drawstring – holding the “Hearts Away” crystal heart. He is currently living in an assisted living facility in Montgomery County.
This is Bob, in September of 2013. He was my partner who helped me deliver flowers to nursing home residents. We would start out our flower caper adventure with a jolt of coffee from McDonalds and a cinnamon bun. He often brought his harmonica along and played a tune as I passed out the flowers.
The picture is of Bob before he moved into the assisted living facility.
Why I am inspired by Bob.
I deliver day-old flowers to residents of senior living communities – just a volunteer “random acts of flowering thing”. I collect the petals and blooms from Trader Joe’s every morning and then send a silent prayer towards the heavens and ask, “God, who needs the gift of a beautiful bouquet today?”
My internal God GPS device leads me to half way houses, AIDS hospices, nursing homes and even to random bus stops and train stations. In 14 months, I have had the privilege of being the deliverer of 19,451 bouquets of fresh flowers. Most days, I have close to a hundred bouquets to pass out to strangers.
Yesterday, I went to The Solana assisted living facility and walked into the dining room. The staff and residents know me because I stop by about once a month. I was there to pass out flowers and to visit my friend Bob. Before he was hospitalized last December, he was my helper taking the flowers to cheer up folks in our Philadelphia community.
Now he is a resident in an assisted living and can no longer help me. As I looked at him, I thought that on this day, his spirits needed a little buoying. He and his table-mate Claire were sitting at the table talking about old Navy days, his career with US Steel and his college days at Yale.
This is Bob’s table-mate Claire.
Now at age 90, Bob had a concern that was more pressing than others. He looked at me intently.
Trish, it looks like I am going to be living here permanently. My wife is going through serious health issues. I can’t think of any words that can comfort her. I need care now too and it is too much for her to have to worry about me while she is trying to heal. I don’t know what is wrong with my legs and I have to use oxygen some of the time.
Bob, what is that orange pouch hanging on your wrist?
Trish, that is my crystal heart in there. It is just a felt bag and it symbolically holds my wife’s heart. Every morning and night, I take the crystal heart out of the bag and hold it and send my love to her. I “Reiki” the heart. I ask God to have my love touch her in the way that my words cannot right now. I motion my fingers over it. I used to hang it on my walker. I didn’t want to lose it or forget to pray on it. So now I keep it on my wrist. I can’t lose it at night if it is on my wrist. It is with me when I am in bed.
Bob, that is the most loving thing I have ever heard of. So many people are separated from loved ones. In recovery houses, prisons, overseas serving our country in hospitals and nursing homes.
I thought of my dear mother who passed away on April 22nd. The three of us used to go to the Piano Bar restaurant sing-a-long on Tuesday nights. Then their health declined about the same time. Bob always sang patriotic songs and my mother did her favorite Patsy Cline tunes.
This is a picture of my mother on her 88th birthday. With my sister and brother. Last February 17th.
Bob, what a great idea! I am going to buy a heart and “talk ” to my mother in heaven too. I think we should tell other people about it. What do you want to call it?
Oh geez, Trish. “Hearts Away ” – that’s what comes to my mind right now. Sort of like when I was serving in the Navy in the Phillipines. We used to say Anchors Away. I have her heart with me all of the time. Really my true heart is never away from her.
I just call it my Hearts Away pouch.