This morning I was entranced to find a post on my daughter-in-law’s Facebook wall, effusing about how she has the most thoughtful husband in the world accompanied by a shot of the lovely bouquet of orchids he caused to be delivered to her.
I thought to myself that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and that the young man paid close attention to the lessons his father taught him. I made a comment indicating that, I hope that she doesn’t take it wrong.
Long time readers of the Havens blog will remember that I have had occasion to live through long separations with Jim courtesy of the USNavy. If you run back and read that little post, you will realize that I am pretty incurably romantic. I have saved all the ribbons from every bouquet Jim has ever given me, and that ribbon bouquet helped decorate the venue for Jesse and Lynette’s wedding last May.
I thought it was so sweet of my son to send his woman flowers. Thoughtful, indeed. And how simple it is now for a military person to do that. Get on the laptop using the wifi setup on the base, or use your smartphone…, visit the appropriate website, order, compose and message and exercise the old credit card. Yes, it is easy to be thoughtful nowadays. More people should try it.
What Jim had to do to make sure that I got flowers while he was gone was quite a lot more involved. First, even before he was deployed, he went to the florist shop and told them what he wanted to do and asked them how this could be accomplished. They gave him a handful of cards to take with him to the ship. When he wanted to send me flowers, he would compose a card, write a note to the florist, write a check to pay for the flowers, and then put that in an envelope and mailed it to them. Needless to say, this was no passing fanciful thought, it was a planned, almost military, campaign, and in order to have the arrive on the appropriate date meant pre-operation planning. It took mail between 10 to 21 days to travel between the Indian Ocean and San Francisco.
When a delivery for me came from the florist, it was accompanied by a card written in his own hand. For some reason, I saved all those cards.
Once, I got a bouquet and a letter on the same day. One of the stories in the letter was about how they had to wash the ship down (because it was painted white, for goodness sake) to get the dust that blows off the Arabian Peninsula off of it. Guess the salt spray makes the ship sticky, the dust adheres to the spray, and then the red dust makes white ship look rusty. God knows the Admiral can’t go around on a ship that looks rusted. Anyway, Jim collected some of the
dust resulting mud, metculously dried it to dust, and sent it to me. I stuck that tiny packet inside the card that came with the flowers and have carried it in my purse ever since. For those of you who love numbers, that would be 25 years now.
A couple of years later we were stationed in Bremerton, Washington, and the ship he was on headed out for a six-month WestPac (Western Pacific) deployment. They left December 3, thereby spoiling both Thanksgiving (due to pre-deployment stress and the fact that that was the weekend the ship moved to the ammunition pier) and Christmas. That time, the mail cooperated and I received my Valentine’s package in plenty of time.
This card was accompanied by nice flannel sheets.
It’s good to know that our son was able to learn that the small touches that make a relationship romantic and help partners stay connected during long deployments are important. Whatever the method used to accomplish it, it seems to be working.
I’m glad, because that young woman is a keeper.