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Morning Glory

April 23, 2006

4.12.2006

Registration was tonight, so I walked over to the SCC. On my way I passed the Horticulture building–the most potent, wonderful frangrance permeated the air. Drawn to it, I decided to look for the source of this rodolence. I ventured over yonder and found these magnificant fuscha flowers emitting the glorious aroma. Picking three flowers to bring back with me, I felt the beauty of the Lord touch me. I gave Ucif and Ashley [my coworkers] both a flower, telling them this could be their escape from such a drab work place. The funny thing, it really was an escape. I kept holding that flower up to my nose every chance I got. We could smell Spring–even in this little box. When I looked into the other room, Ucif had that flower pinned to his nose…such a funny sight–this big guy delighting in the smell of a purple flower. He did a search online trying to figure out what kind of flower it was.

A familiar voice echoed in my ears…”Leroy?!…Leroy! You’re back!” Gone since October, Leroy’s been home with his wife who fell ill with cancer. It spread quickly and they soon realized her life here on earth was coming to an end. Leroy’s demeanor seemed heavy and broken. Not the spunky old man I remembered from the past 2 years. He spoke softer and with no resolution often times. Same war vet I remembered however, full of stories and can talk for hours. He filled the room with bits and pieces of his last months with his wife. A broken life in pieces–a mosaic of sorts–beautiful. 38 years they committed themselves to each other in marriage. 38 years. He now wore her wedding band around his neck on a small chain. “I bought this band for $19.95 at K-Mart.” Not kidding. Living a humble life, he resides in a trailer out in the country near Caldwell–maybe shabby to some but completely home to him. Deer in his backyard to feed in the wee hours of the morning–he reminds me of my grandpa in many ways. Pain exuded from him, burdening my heart. The intensity of it…he continued sharing his story for a little over an hour. Tears trickled down my face during a few parts of the conversation. He talked of the “bad minutes” he has where he must walk away because it just hits him. Like waves, it comes at him–unexpectedly most times. Something triggers it and the tears well up in his eyes. A simple woman she was, only wearing a dress three times in her life: one to her own wedding and the other two to funerals. Leroy said the one thing she required of him is that she not be burried in a dress. Clothes of comfort she preferred. Carnations tickled her pink. No lavish flower, simply carnations. Her casket was covered in them. Leroy’s closet emptied of her clothes. He had to stop going through her stuff–he couldn’t finish. He had to let others handle her belongings. “The evenings are the hardest. That’s when we used to talk. It’s good that I have this shift. It gives me something to do. Someone to talk to,” he explained. …I had long forgotten about the test I was studying for, the readings I needed to do, the paper I needed to write. Everything in me was involved now. He’s recently gone back to church. It’s been since 1973. Lord, why does it take such tragedy to bring us back to you? He’s being called back to You. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for calling us to You.

To break the somber feel, I held up my flower to Leroy, “Smell this…it’s wonderful.” His eyes brightened and he took a real deep breath, experiencing the frangrance to its full capacity. “You know what that smells like? Morning Glories. Yep. Them are Morning Glories.” Ucif looked it up online and sure enough, Leroy hit it right on the head…they were Morning Glories. And glorious they were indeed.

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