Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why I love daffodils

Five years ago I was in a marriage that was falling apart. I had a husband who was always angry with me and with life, it seemed. Because of what he did for a living, breeding horses, beginning in January of every year, he and the other manager would begin working 7 days per week. This would last until the end of foaling season in early July. I thought then and I still think now that it’s inhuman to ask that of an employee although it provided a decent living and a lovely home. And come July, my husband could work a normal work week. The problem with this lifestyle comes when there is no down time to relax. Throw in the 24 hour on-call nights (3 per week) and it makes for one terribly cranky person. And he was never the happiest person to begin with.

Each January I would begin to notice a change in my husband and it was extremely unpleasant. We argued. We grew apart. There were times that I absolutely dreaded coming home. And finally, in 2004 we decided that we should no longer be together. We’d been planning on waiting until our youngest graduated high school but my husband said he couldn’t take it any longer and wanted out. It was late March of 2004, exactly five years ago this week.

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It was cold that morning when I went out to start my car to warm it up for the drive to school for me and my son. In fact, it was freezing. When I opened the door of my car, I was surprised to find a small bouquet of daffodils waiting for me on the armrest. They were wrapped with a tiny rubber band and the yellow blooms were frozen because of the temperature that morning.

They were exquisite.

But I was very surprised to see them. In fact, I was scared. Who in the world would have left me these flowers? I was positive it wasn’t my husband, for obvious reasons. And then I began to think that it might be some creep who worked on the horse farm. It was a disquieting feeling that I had but I didn’t want to be late for school, so I dismissed it.

I drove to work and put the bouquet of daffodils in a vase, still wondering where they came from. And at break time, when I knew he’d be home, I called my husband and asked him. He told me it was he who had picked them for me, saying, "Who did you think it could have been?"

I was shocked.

I thanked him and later that evening he told me he was driving around feeding all the horses and saw the flowers and that they were frozen and really pretty and he thought to himself, “she would really like these.” And so he picked them for me.

Um, yeah. Where did my husband go and who is this alien talking to me?

In the weeks that followed, he continued to be nice. The funny thing was that because of his kindness, I was being kinder to him. One day I came home to a note with lines from a song that just happened to remind him of me, signing it, “Love, your husband”. Life was beginning to be better when we were together and I was actually thinking that maybe this marriage could actually be salvaged.

I had no idea at the time that his behavior had changed due to a tumor that was growing in his brain. And just over a month later, his boss called me to say that he was at the hospital with my husband who had nearly collapsed at work and they were running tests.

And later that day, on May 3, 2004, I found out that my husband had brain cancer.

I thought then that if he hadn’t suddenly begun to be nice to me, it would have made caring for him extremely difficult. But as it was, and because of his newfound kindness, caring for him came very easy to me.

And so, when I see these spring flowers, I’m reminded of an incident that changed my life. I was falling in love with my husband again. And it began with a small bouquet of frozen daffodils on a cold spring morning.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

PS ~ Thank you all for your wonderful comments on yesterday’s post about George. I welcome all the new faces here and am so glad you stopped by. This blog has been cathartic for me and your support means so much.

63 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

Now I love them more, too. Have a nice rest of the week.

Jessica said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Elaine Dale said...

The twist and turns of the universe are amazing. That little bundle of yellow flowers started to prepare you for the future. I always think of moments like that as God tapping us on the shoulder.

Maria said...

WOW, that was so simply beautiful and I'll never look at daffodils the same again

numberonesistah said...

Miracles are around us all the time and an angel must have been whispering to your husband that morning when he found those daffodils.

Thank you for telling this story.

Marla said...

That is an amazing story. My grandma just died of lung cancer that spread to her brain... We didn't realize it was there until her mood started to drastically change around Christmas. She died last week after fighting for almost two years.

Thanks for posting this happy ending. It is good to know that some people survive such an awful disease. I hope your husband can be an inspiration to other people going through the same kind of things.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Your story gave me goosebumps; thank-you so much for sharing a very personal part of your journey. I like what Numberonesistah said....

Woman in a Window said...

oh.my.god. You dear.

JAN'S PLACE said...

Country girl, that is a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing from your life moments....

Jan

Ellen said...

Your story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

Welcome spring and welcome daffodils. May they always bring you happy thoughts.

FireLight said...

Kate, beautifully written, and please know what an important story this is to the newly wed, the marriages in crisis, and to those who have made it through storms that add depth and deep abiding love to long marriages.
Anniversaries are to be honored, and you did that very well. I see a bright symbol in the nearly frozen daffodils having been rescued by your husband's thoughts and actions that warmed your heart...and his...and rescued the two of you in return.

Ok,ok, ok....I got TOO excited!

Spruce Hill said...

“God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.” Isak Dinesen

What a wonderful story Kate. You amaze me with your stregth and courage.

Miriam Lovell Dyer said...

Wow.
I don't know what else to say.

Betty said...

Now I know why daffodils have always been my favorite flower.
Your story makes one stop and smell the flowers.

Deb said...

Intervention came your way through a bouquet of daffodils......you just never know when it's your turn for a miracle :)
Thanks for sharing your story Kate ~ you give the rest of the world hope for a happy ending.

Jill of All Trades said...

That was a beautiful and awesome story. Thank you for sharing. I too find blogging cathartic.

Hilary said...

we are exactly where we are supposed to be, every minute.
beautiful, and beautifully written.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

strange how out of something bad something good came... Love the flowers even more now :)

Hilary said...

May the two of you share many more spring daffodils together. Beautiful story.

noble pig said...

That's a great story, amazing how it all can change.

Oh and working only 24 hours a day from Jan to July sounds great...my hubby's patients give birth and need surgery 24/7 for 12 months a year...LOL! Yikes, life's hard.

ELK said...

wow .you blew me away Kate...I certainly will not look at daffodils in the same way,
blessings,
ELK

Cowgirl in the City said...

I was just thinking today about how much I loved daffodils. And thank you for sharing your story!

Doreen said...

A wonderful story Kate - another chapter for a book. What an inspiration for all those who may be going through tough times in their relationships. It will enable them to look behind the pain for a reason why. You have a gift of storytelling that has warmth and compassion.

Natarojo said...

What a lovely story. ALthough the reason behind the change is obviously one for concern, it however changed the course of your lives together and I am sure that because of that you are both greatfull. Just one more lesson in life that shows us all not to take the little things in life for granted.

Delwyn said...

Hello Kate

Isn't it amazing that one little act of kindness can change the complete course of your life. Your story is testimony that when the going gets tough that we should pull out all stops and find a pinch of kindness. It worked a miracle...

Lori said...

What a sweet story. It's so cool to see how things can and do work out.

Leif: A Voyage said...

Katy Kate,
what word says remarkable, unbelievable, marvelous, the very best?

There is no single best word.

Oh, Kate, what you do here is important.

Thank you for your remarkable honesty.

Thank you for sharing an unbelievable twist of fate.

Thank you for a marvelous, true love story.

You're the best.
Kt

Oliag said...

"As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents hope and renewal. To the American Cancer Society, the daffodil symbolizes the hope we all share for a future where cancer no longer threatens those we love."

Anyone can go to the American Cancer Society website at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PAR/PAR_4_Daffodil_Days.asp to find out about Daffodil Days...

Thank you for this beautiful life story Kate...

Char said...

sad and beautiful - would that we all could find the courage to find love again with the same person. thinking of you and sending you warm hugs and prayers.

bv said...

c.g. you shared alot...our relationships do ebb and flow...like a tide, the stars and moon maybe help us. may 3,1971 our son was born, mar 28,2006 he died. there were lots of daffodils shared. i wish, hope and pray for you and husband. i admire your toughness and grace. i sound way to serious! enjoy, embrace and photo spring! kiss husband...bv

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

My youngest daughter's favorite flower is the daffodil! I wish I could say more, but suffice it to say she is in a difficult situaton. What I love most about your story is that it gives hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.

Laura @ OurHouseOfJoyfulNoise.com said...

I've been a lurker for quite some time. But after this post, how can I close it and not say a word? Your story really, really touched me, and honestly...I feel honored you would share something so deep, profound, and personal with your readers. There are lessons for all of us, in your story! Thanks for sharing your heart. I am quite sure I will never see a daffodil again, and not think of you and your husband.

Treasia said...

Every time I see daffodils now I will be thinking of your new found love for your husband and he for you. That's beautiful Kate.

The picture is gorgeous as always.

MiniKat said...

There's something in my eyes... *sniff* Such a beautiful story.

Amy said...

Wow...that was a very personal and amazing story. Thanks for sharing this and I hope you and your husband have many more years together to be in love.

Andria and Co. said...

What a beautiful story. It comes to show, kindness can go a long way.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I loved reading this. Daffodils are a sure sign of new life.

CJ xx

alisa said...

Kate,
It is amazing the roads that life takes us on. Our journey can sometimes feel impossible. Along the way we discover a lot about the ones we love and about how strong we are too. Thinking of you...

Alisa

willow said...

I've always thought of daffodils as the flower of new beginnings, and for you, they really are. Beautiful story, Kate.

Weezee said...

Oh my gosh what a bueatiful story. One more reason to love daffodils. For me they sing of new fresh life, and your story too.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

How marvelous God used an illness to heal your marriage!
Because of your blog button, "What Kind of Flower Am I", I took the test and I'm a daffodil. That pleases me as daffs are the first flowers on our mountain farm to joyfully shout, "Spring is HERE!"
Of course, I had to put it on my blog as well and thank you.

Daryl said...

(((Kate)))

Not sure God or Angels had anything to do with it ..

Mary said...

Everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that. And I think that your courage in sharing this will in turn touch others' lives. Thank you so much, Kate. What a beautiful story!
xoxo,
Mary

Deb said...

I will never look at daffodils the same way again. This was a beautiful post, dear Kate.

lejardengirl said...

Love will change all...thanks Beth

tj said...

...That is beautiful Kate... You give me hope...

...Blessings to you, da hubs and George... :o)

Lena said...

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story - your writings touch my heart and I often linger at your blog, reading, re-reading, looking at your photos....you are a wonderful writer and a gifted photographer.
Greetings also to George who is very handsome.
I wish you a peaceful, joyous spring season!

Juri said...

What a wonderfully honest blog....I have enjoyed my visit!

Juri

Dirt Princess said...

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

High Desert Diva said...

That brought tears to my eyes....

TSannie said...

Such a sweet story. I'm glad your marriage had a last-longer ending.
Just lovely, Kate.

cieldequimper said...

Such a beautiful story of love and hope. Thank you for sharing it and enjoying daffodils!

Fenway said...

Pam (Ms. Alpha) writing instead of Fenway...

Boy, am I glad you found us in the blogosphere. My hair stood on end as I read your post. I had a similar twist to my life about 10 years ago, but it was my own breast cancer that shook my husband up enough to fall in love again. Isn't it funny what happens when you underestimate someone you THINK you know to the core? haha...I love your story.

We live in MD, too. And George is so beautiful...so expressive.

PS: I used to be quite involved with horses and know what you are talking about with foaling season. I've only heard the stories, but could easily imagine how hard it is.

...And I saw my first daffodil bloom yesterday in the garden!

Aerie-el said...

It really touched my heart to read about how such a simple act made all the difference.
Here's to many more daffodils in your future together.

starrlife said...

Very touching. I'm married to an angry man .... I don't wish for a brain tumor but those daffodils melted my heart...Here via the sharing bounty of Erin!

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

I shall always think of this story when I see them. This was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And I want to say that I really wish more bloggers would share their lives this way. It is a hard process to talk about, often. But we women especially need this kinship. This knowledge that we are not alone. I'm thankful I happened upon you last week. This was really special. I shall read it again.
Brenda

susie said...

Wow! What a wonderful story. My husband and I are going thru marriage counseling right now, and one of the things we've learned, is that we get more back than we give and to keep a marriage going, we have to give without expecting a return. That was a mind boggling thing to learn!

Flea said...

Wow. Just wow. My own marriage was rough for a very long time, but the change to happiness was gradual. It's still rocky. I'm glad you fell in love along the way.

imom said...

I love daffodils too, but for a much different reason than yours. They were my grandpa's favorite flower so I think of him every time I see them.

I can't wait to hear more of your story!

cottage farm villa (cottagecharm) said...

Oh Kate.... how I understand your story. After going through what hubby and I just went through with his illness and how it played out, God's hands were "in" there. ~ i understand more than you know. hugs.

Terri said...

Beautiful story...

Thanks for sharing

Hugs
Terri

Kristin said...

God has such an amazing way to teach us, talk to us and give us exactly what we need. What glorious dafodils those were!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I will always wonder what makes them so "angry" when they could have it all, and sometimes do have it all. It is a mystery.
Your story was heart warming if tragic. I must go a back and see what I have missed. Thank you so much for sharing.
Mona