The “Lonely Bouquet” of roses
Nat was pushing the buggy round his favourite Santa Cruz park. He couldn’t believe how quickly 2015 had come around. He was looking forward to his 40th birthday celebrations tomorrow and had taken Rosie out to give his wife space to make some preparations for the big day.
Here he was pushing little Rosie in her pushchair, but she was using it more as a chariot racer would do, gripping on to the sides, egging on her Daddy to race faster and faster round the lakeside. They revelled in time together feeding the birds and ducks, singing nursery rhymes and talking to the squirrels. She was just a few months past her first birthday and tottering about under her own steam, when she was finally released from the harness, well she was until she hit a dip in the pavement, or took her eyes off the path. That was how little ones learned to cope with walking, daily growing in confidence or learning to control a slow fall, as he put it.
Two years ago Nat had walked in the same park to give him a breathing space before going home. He had sat on that bench over there, but that day he had seen a small packet on the seat and went over to investigate it. It was a tiny bunch of flowers, with a note sticking out of the wrapping. He scooped up the flowers and saw how wonderfully they were formed and just how exquisitely beautiful the colour of each rose blended with its neighbour. The note said ‘I’m a Lonely Bouquet, I hope you will take me home or give me to a loved one.’ That day was Lonely Bouquet Day the last day of June, something he had never heard of before. He picked up his little treasure to take home. Well he thought, ‘At least I can announce my arrival with some flowers, which should help to soften the blow for Julie’. He had just come from the office where his boss had called him in and told him he was being made redundant. He loved his work and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. He felt discouraged and dejected and extremely concerned he would find another job and wondered just how they were going to live in the future months. He had some money to come from the redundancy which would be a cushion for a while. He had decided to square up his shoulders and think positively.
That day he had walked home instead of taking the bus, to compose what he was going to tell Julie. The flowers somehow seemed like a lucky omen and gave him courage. Julie was so understanding and supportive that Saturday in June. They had both wondered what was in store for them. Little did either of them realise how life could so drastically change in two years.
There had been times when the tears had flowed and tempers flared, due to the long hours they had both worked, but slowly and surely they had pooled their resources and decided to look at life in an upbeat way and take up the chance of running a franchise together. They decided selling aloe vera products would be something they could achieve together and the couple’s friendly attitude and dedication to their business won them the admiration of their family and friends and tourists alike.
Their business prospered and they took on the challenge of working in several towns over Tenerife and in department stores. They had parties to sell their products and Julie proved to be an excellent sales woman bringing in lots of work and repeat business. They opened up new avenues online and more orders flooded in. They got to know the reception staff in all the big hotels and held presentations there regularly, life was full and exciting. They even took their beauty products over to Lanzarote, and Feurtaventura and established an agency with another person covering that territory. The spare room in their apartment was crammed from floor to ceiling with creams and potions but they were so pleased their order books were full.
A year ago Rose was born to their great joy and delight. Nat often bought Julie flowers, however little money he had left in his wallet. He remembered the lift the Lonely Bouquet had given them both and even if just one red rose was bought when euros were few, they both knew it was given and received with love. With their love strengthened by their hardships, they were certain they could face the future, whatever it had in store for them. They had grown up now and were parents of a very special lovely little girl and that meant the world to them.
Regular readers will remember that Christine wrote to the Tenerife News in June in support of the Lonely Bouquet Day which was held on June 30th in various countries, having been started by a Belgium lady who thought it was a lovely idea to spread a bit of flower power. Christine agreed and left a few bunches in Tenerife. Let’s hope this idea will catch on more in 2014!
By Chris Hoban