by Carol Sokolsky
He walked every day from his elementary school to his Mother’s garage apartment, past a little flower shop with black glass windows. This little boy, one full of life, but also full of sadness that weighed like a weight around his neck, for reasons that only a few would ever know.
One day as he walked by the black glass windows, he noticed the small pile of flowers laying outside on the sidewalk, apparently discarded for the day. He picked up the prettiest ones, carried them home, and watched as his Mother smiled when presented with the flowers her son had chosen just to make his Mama smile.
The bond between the Mama and her son was a strong one. She instilled in him her passionate love of music, and he took her flowers every single day after school. Those early years were difficult for this young man who yearned for the approval of his father, who was rarely around…
As I heard the story being told by a grown man, now retired from a very successful career and, from the outside, appearing to have everything that society measures as someone who’s “made it,” I ached for the little boy inside the man that had yet to realize what I probably take for granted…a close, loving family that loves me, and one that I can always count on.
This strong, amazing man telling me the story brought tears to my eyes as we sat in Cheever’s Cafe in Oklahoma City that Sunday afternoon. Cheever’s has quite a history in Oklahoma City. It’s an elegant bistro offering upscale Southwestern and Southern cuisine, and quite frankly, great Bloody Marys. As we brunched and enjoyed a relaxing drink, the story continued. The cooler against the wall, now housing wine and various chilled foods, a beautiful part of the decor and ambiance of the Cafe, was originally used to house flowers. The black glass windows were still there, on both the front and side of the Cafe. And the elementary school, where that small boy spent his early years, was just two blocks down the street.
He was walking down memory lane, and I was understanding another big piece of this man’s life puzzle. This man… the man I had fallen in love with… was sharing yet another piece of his heart, and one that was both painful and beautiful. I can hear his heart as he tells me about the joy these flowers brought to his Mama, yet also craved love from the man who couldn’t show it to his family. Oh, he’s forgiven his Dad for being cruel and never showing love, but the scars remain still. His Mother is no longer here on earth, but the joy and love of that Mama to her son is so apparent as he speaks.
That Sunday afternoon in Cheever’s Cafe in Oklahoma City was a powerful one for me. Mostly because I already knew the immensity of his heart and his love for me, but also to see and watch his eyes as he shared the story of his daily walk past Cheever’s Flower Shop, and the joy in his Mama’s heart as he presented her with flowers every day. A little boy with such a huge heart, that would one day find me, love me deeply and ask me to marry him. Oh, yes, I’m on a new journey, and one that is bringing me joy and happiness beyond anything I ever thought I’d experience.
I’ve written many “My Journey” stories and shared my heart, many full of past pain and weariness. For at least a year, I had been asking God to lead me out of my wilderness and to show me what He wanted me to do with my future. I certainly was not asking for someone to love me, but I was asking God to lead me where I was supposed to go. I was even questioning why I was here, where did I even belong? It was a difficult past year for me. And then a man contacted me out of the blue… a man I had briefly met and didn’t even remember. Yes, sad to say, and how did I miss that handsome man? Guess I wasn’t looking, but God knew we both needed each other.
That’s another story for another day, and yes, I’ll tell it one of these days! My heart is overflowing as we take next steps together and are planning a wedding sometime in the near future. We both thank God over and over for allowing our worlds to collide in the manner in which it all happened. Too many specific things that brought us together to think it was just coincidental. No, it was God… knowing that two people needed to find love again with just the right person… the right circumstances… and the right timing. I just love that God is never early and never late… He’s always just on time.
And as I sat in Cheever’s Cafe, listening to this precious story from the man who has captured my heart, I realized again why he is so special. His heart is enormous. His kindness is constant, and his willingness to serve others and do all he can to make someone’s life better was so evident as I watched his eyes tell the story of his daily walk past Cheever’s, flowers in hand to make his Mama smile.
That’s the heart who now has mine, and we are both guarding each other’s for the rest of our lives. God knew… He orchestrated… and led me out of my wilderness. And, as my travel coffee mug says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out, plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11
Stay tuned…the story is just getting started!
Carol is a regular contributing writer for the918, loves to share life with her readers, and truly enjoys the feedback she receives. If you want to connect with Carol, you can find her on Facebook as Carol Sokolsky, and on Instagram as @Sokocarden. She’d love to hear your story and how the918 has made a difference. firstname.lastname@example.org