- Vol. 05
- Chapter 01
The Flower Man
It was a cold morning. I strolled aimlessly, unsure of what it was I wanted to do. Ahead of me was a man seated on the pavement, a display of bright colours in front of him. When I got close, I realised the colours were bundles of flowers. The man himself was dressed in black. If I had to guess, I’d say he was around 66.
“Hello,” I said, as I knelt to take a closer look at the flowers.
“Good morning,” he said. “Flowers for you?”
I looked at the different colours. Red, orange, yellow, purple and white.
“They’re beautiful,” I said.
“They sure are. What is your favourite flower?”
“I don’t have one. I wish I did, but I don’t. You?”
“I suppose because they remind me of my mam. She loved daisies. We went to the flower market every month when I was a boy. She’d buy two or three bouquets of daisies and we’d walk around town, giving them to people who looked like they needed something to smile about.”
“Those were the happiest days of my childhood. I remember that one day, we came across an old lady sitting on a sleeping bag. She was crying. My mam went up to her, and they spoke for awhile. Then we went to a bakery across the street and bought cups of hot chocolate and a huge bag of doughnuts. Maybe ten? We took them back to the old lady and had a little picnic with her on the street.
The Flower ManI don't remember what we spoke about, but I've never forgotten the gratitude in her eyes as we said goodbye to her.
“Later that day, I asked my mam why we sat with the old lady. ‘She was all alone in the world,’ my mam said. ‘There are many lonely people in this world. People with big problems. People who struggle in different ways. When you grow older, you will understand that some problems are not so easy to solve. But we don't always have to help people solve their problems. We can just be kind to them. You have the power to make someone's day better just by being kind. Remember this.'”
He paused. I sat, waiting for him to continue.
“My mam died a few months after that. My memories of the period after are fuzzy, but I remember that one day, I walked back to where we met the old lady. I don’t know why, but I needed to tell her that my mam was gone. She wasn’t there though. So I sat in her spot, and I cried and cried.”
He looked at the flowers, then back at me.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m telling you this.”
“It’s okay,” I said.
“Anyway. That’s why daisies are my favourite flower.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I smiled at him. He smiled back.