An elderly woman is devastated when her husband passes away. Her young grandson is worried to see her depressed, and he puts a plan into motion to cheer her up.
When Anna thought she finally knew what life was all about, it dealt her a brutal blow. Her husband of fifty years, Ronald, passed away suddenly at the age of seventy-five.
Anna and Ronald had been making plans to get away on a dream trip to France –a dream that had been postponed since their honeymoon year after year. First, the children came, then they got married and needed help…
Now it was too late, and Anna wept over all the memories she and Ronald wouldn’t be sharing. She was inconsolable, and her daughter Clara even started considering taking her to a therapist.
“I’m so worried about mom,” Clara said to her husband and son, Ron, over dinner. “It’s been over six months, and she just mopes. She won’t leave the house, not for anything.”
Ron, a fourteen-year-old who’d always been very close to his grandparents, was upset. “Poor gran!” he sighed. “I miss grandpa too, but he was her world. They did everything together.
“What do you think…What if I start taking her out in the afternoon for walks the way she and grandpa used to do?”
“That’s a great idea, Ronnie!” his mother cried. “That’s so kind of you!”
So the next day, Ron showed up at his gran’s house an hour before sunset. “Hey, gran,” he said. “How about we walk down to the lake and watch the sunset?”
Anna turned her face away so her grandson couldn’t see the tears in her eyes and said gruffly: “Why would I want to do a stupid thing like that for?”
Ron was shocked. “But…You used to love going down to the lake…”
“Not anymore!” cried Anna. “I HATE IT! Don’t bother me, Ron. Run along and do something useful!”
Ron was hurt by his grandmother’s dismissal, but what he didn’t know was that she was just as upset. “Why did I say that to the poor boy?” she asked herself. “He was only trying to help…”
That night Ron told his mom what had happened. “Maybe she doesn’t want our help, mom,” he said sadly.
“She may not want it,” Clara said. “But she definitely needs it. Grandpa wouldn’t want her wasting away like this. He loved life, and he adored grandma Anna.”
“Yeah!” Ron said. “It was embarrassing to see two such old people smooching and holding hands. And he always brought her flowers!”
That was when the brilliant idea struck Ron. He was going to buy his grandmother flowers every day like his grandpa used to do. Maybe the daily reminder that she was loved would turn things around.
Ron decided that he wasn’t going to say a word to his mom. He had a brand-new weekend job, and he had just received his very first salary. He was going to do this for his grandmother, all by himself.
The next day, Ron went to the local florist and ordered some flowers to be delivered to Anna’s house that afternoon. When the florist presented Ron with the bill, he was flabbergasted. $60!
“That’s…That’s a lot of money,” he gasped.
“It’s a bouquet of red roses,” the florist explained. “And you’re having it delivered.”
“If next time I want just one flower and take it myself,” asked Ron. “How much would it be?”
“That would be $6,” the woman said. Six dollars was still steep. Ron calculated how much one flower a day would cost him and realized he would be spending his entire salary on flowers for Anna.
Ron knew it was worth it when he visited Anna that afternoon and saw that she was smiling. “Look, Ron!” she cried. “Someone sent me flowers, just like your grandfather used to do…”
“That’s wonderful, gran,” he said gently. “It’s so good to see you look better.”
“Your grandfather was such a romantic!” Anna said. “These flowers helped me remember our first days when we started courting, and how alive he made me feel.”
“You know, Ron, we had some tough times during our marriage when money was short, but rarely a day went by that your grandfather didn’t bring me a flower, even if he stole it from a neighbor’s garden.”
“He said he didn’t want me to forget that I was loved…”
Ron was even more determined to keep those flowers coming, even if it was just a solitary rose delivered anonymously daily by the florist, no matter what it cost.
At work, Ron asked for more hours so he could earn more towards the flowers, and he stopped meeting his friends after work at the local diner for a soda.
“What’s happening, Ron?” asked one of his colleagues from the hardware store in which he worked. “You never hang out with us anymore!”
Ron shrugged, embarrassed, then decided to tell his friend the truth: “I can’t afford it. I’m spending all my money on flowers for my grandmother. She’d been so down, so I send her roses anonymously.”
“But you have no idea how expensive it is, so no movies and no snacks at the diner!”
Ron’s friend was impressed and the next day, he told their boss all about Ron’s sacrifice. The boss was stunned. He’d never heard of a teen who’d spend his money on pleasing an old lady!
There was a promotion coming up with a substantial raise, and he decided immediately that Ron was the right person for the job. Ron’s raise meant that he could continue sending flowers to Anna and still hang out with his friends!
Anna slowly recovered her zest for life, and she is now planning that trip to France she always dreamed of with her daughter and her son-in-law. She never found out who was sending the flowers, and Ron is still keeping that secret.
What can we learn from this story?
Losing a loved one can tear a heart apart. Anna was losing the will to live until Ron started sending her flowers.
A generous heart always puts others first. Ron decided it was more important to cheer up his grandmother than to have a good time with his friends.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.