The Flowers

Small gestures can make big differences

As he finished his daily walk, Sterling saw a man approaching him with a small bouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were the kind you buy from a grocery store, which made sense since a large grocery store was only two blocks away.

Sterling had never met the man before, but as the man approached, he opened his arms and said, “Ahh, you shouldn’t have!”

The man, about 25 with a four-day growth and curly black hair, said nothing and stared straight ahead as he passed Sterling. Since no homes were around for three blocks, it wasn’t clear where the man was headed with the bouquet.

“Oh, that’s all right,” Sterling turned and said as the man was now 10 feet past him. “I’ll just eat the chocolates instead.”

The man paused and turned around, scrinched his face, and said, “Well, if you want ‘em bad enough, here they are.”

“No, no. I was just joking,” Sterling said.

“I’m serious. There’ll be plenty of flowers at the funeral. These will just clutter the place up.”

“A, a, a funeral?”

“Yeah, my best friend died three days ago. His memorial is today.”

Sterling said, “I, uh, oh, I’m so sorry.”

“So am I. It’s not a pleasant thing, death, but just trying to process it all. Still, if you need flowers, go ahead and take ‘em.”

Sterling said, “No no no. I couldn’t do that. So sorry for your loss, man. Just trying to lighten things up.”

“I need it, that’s for sure.”

“How’d it happen?” Sterling asked taking two steps closer to the man. “That is, if you don’t mind a stranger asking?”

“Car accident. Two weeks ago. He was in intensive care for eight days but couldn’t hold on any longer.”

“That’s rough. How’d you guys meet?”

“Grew up together. I married his sister. And boy is she still torn to pieces about it. They were tight.” He paused and looked down. “We were tight too.”

“Mind if I walk alongside you? I just remembered today was my extra walk day.”

“Sure, I don’t mind. It’d be good to have some company. What’s your name, by the way? Mine’s Adam.”

“Adam, I’m Sterling. Pleased to meet you.”



  1. It’s not fun when you lose someone close to you. I’m glad Sterling was there to walk with him. My Father always told me to live in the moment because tomorrow is not promised.

  2. I believe we “happen” to be in places where we’re needed. I also believe God sends comforters to people in need, and Sterling “happened” to be just where Adam needed him to be that day.

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