Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A White Rose for George

I'd placed the order with a company downtown, a mere four blocks from our hotel in Des Moines.  But, they called before I left home to tell me I needed to pick it up from a different location, as the downtown one was closed on Saturdays.

So... on a brisk morning, my morning run took me, not along the pretty river path that I'd planned on running, but 40 blocks through and past downtown, to the florist. (Don't tell my mother.)

White roses have become synonymous with remembrance of our dearly missed George, and I wanted to honor him somehow during the show I attended. I wanted him with me. And so I ran the 40 blocks back to the hotel. Gently. With a cardboard box in one hand -- inside, a white rose wrist corsage.

During intermission, I slipped it off my wrist. I entwined a note I had written to him into the bracelet of the corsage and rose from my seat.  Delicately making my way to the stage, I closed my eyes, kissed the petals of the rose, whispered my heart, and laid it on the stage -- a gesture I borrowed from a dear friend with her permission.

I was careful with it... I was sure to put it far enough forward that it couldn't possibly be a safety hazard to any of the men on stage.

I stood along the stage, further down, during intermission chatting with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time.  But I frowned when an usher walked by me along the front of the stage, picking up the corsage on the way. There may have been stamping of my feet.

After a few minutes, he came back my way, flowers still in-hand, and, outside of my own character, I stopped him. "Please," I entreated. "I wouldn't normally ask this, but is there any way you can put that back? It's for a singer in the show who passed away this year... and it would just mean a lot to me."

He was kind but told me he'd been instructed to pick any of them up and to take them backstage.

I wanted to argue...  I didn't want it backstage. There were terribly emotional reasons I wanted the gesture to be part of the stage. It's where he belonged...  I have my doubts it made it that far anyway - a story you give to fans to appease.  But arguing with him would have been pointless -- like complaining to the Starbucks barista that your latte is $6.  What can she do? She doesn't make the rules; she just carries them out. It wasn't his fault.

And honestly, I didn't know that I wanted that note read by anyone in the show...  It's not that there was anything bad in it, it just...  wasn't to them.  Yeah, I know. I should have thought of that before putting it on a stage where someone was going to pick it up and possibly read it at some point anyway.

I am impetuous. Not well thought-out.

Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe it was the action and the heart and the whispers and the heartache and the missing that matters, and not that a flower didn't sit on a stage for 12 songs.

Maybe none of it matters... but it kind of did.

To me.


  1. ((hugs)) I hope simply being able to give the rose and the note helped.

  2. I'm choosing to believe that he really did take it back stage, that it was seen and appreciated. But this may be one of those times when the thought and the action are what's most important, to yourself anyways :D


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