On Thursday afternoon, while I was working from home on redesigning tutorial activities for my first year psychology students, my doorbell rang. And the furchildren went wild – howling and barking and wooing everywhere (but particularly at the front gate). I’m often worried that whoever rings the doorbell is going to run for the hills when confronted with three wolf-like creatures and a dog, 3 of whom are particularly vocal (Nanuq is the strong, silent female type).
In any case, I managed to track down my keys, and the Doorbell Ringer had not disappeared before I got there.
I won’t lie… When I saw that the Doorbell Ringer was the driver of a Netflorist van, I got quite excited. A delivery? For ME? EEEK. I NEVER get exciting (flower) deliveries. Was it possible that this was a delayed Valentine’s Day present from husband-man?
You can imagine my disappointment when I found out that the delivery was for the house diagonally opposite us and that I was just needed as a temporary babysitter. But I put a friendly smile on my face (it wasn’t really Mr Delivery Man’s fault), signed my married name signature (which I still sometimes have difficulty with), dutifully took the bunch of orange lilies inside, placed them in some water, and daydreamed about them belonging to me.
I then messaged our street Whatsapp group with the delivery news, which was the next step in my mission (although I was secretly hoping that they wouldn’t be claimed). Unfortunately, it turned out that the flowers were for our ex-neighbours who had recently moved to a retirement village in the area. Their grandson, who lives down the road from us, gave me a call to confirm this. It turns out that Mr Ex-Neighbour passed away earlier this week, and that the lilies were for his (now widowed) wife.
All of a sudden I wasn’t daydreaming about being the recipient of the lilies. They kind of made me sad. I’m not a fan of death. Or of sadness in general. When I handed over the flowers later that evening, I was relieved to see them go. The house felt a little happier (if a little less orange) again. But at least I could be content in the knowledge that I had successfully completed my mission and passed the flowers on to the rightful owners.
Rest in peace, Mr Ex-Neighbour. I hope the flowers brought a bit of brightness into your wife’s day.