She smiled back. “Oh, yes. They’re available pretty much all year, but May is one of the best months. What colors are you looking for?”
“Mom’s favorites – pink and white. Six of each. Right, Dad?” Evan looked up into his father’s eyes, a good three feet above Evan’s head. His father nodded first at Evan and then at the clerk.
“You can fill out the card while I wrap these up.”
“Up you go, Bud,” said the father as he reached down and hoisted Evan up to sit on the counter. “You pick out the card.”
Evan scanned the rack looking at each little card for just the right one. He saw one with cartoon characters that he watched while his mom made him breakfast. Evan pointed to it. “This one.”
His dad hesitated then said okay and set Evan back on the floor. Taking the card from the rack, he carefully wrote Love, from Evan and Charlie. He handed the card to the clerk who placed it with the bouquet then handed the bundle to Evan. Charlie reached into his back pocket for his wallet while Evan checked out the bouquet. “This is nice.”
“I’m glad you like it.” Evan watched as she and her dad traded things back and forth. When he saw his dad put the wallet back in his pocket he knew they were done.
“Let’s go, Bud.” They made their way out to the SUV where Charlie secured Evan into the booster seat. After making sure the flowers were safe on the seat next to him, Evan started looking out the window as his dad drove through town. He saw the sign for his mom’s favorite restaurant and wondered if they would be eating there tonight.
Eventually, the vehicle slowed and made a turn into a place with lots of trees and lawns everywhere you looked. There were several twists and turns to take before they came to a stop and Charlie turned off the engine. Soon, Evan stood outside the SUV holding the bouquet while his father grabbed something else from the backseat. After shutting the door and hearing the ‘beep’ of the lock, they made their way across the lawn toward a set of familiar trees with a statue nearby. They came to a stop about ten feet away from where the granite angel stood watch over all entrusted to her care.
The flowers from a couple weeks ago had fallen upon the headstone at their feet. Evan knelt down to pick up the wilted plants and put them in the plastic bag he took from his pocket. He put the fresh flowers above the stone. Charlie bent over and placed a small American flag to the left of the marker. They both stood up. Evan silently took his father’s hand and read the headstone to himself.
PFC US Army
Wife and Mother
In remembrance of those who gave their life in the service of our country, and for the families who held them dearest.