Albert and Vivienne Harrison lived in Indianapolis, Indiana for most of their 55-year marriage. Albert died from natural causes at 86 years old, and she was heartbroken. But luckily, she had a big family to keep her company.
The couple had three children, six grandchildren, and their first great-grandchild was born a few months before Albert died. Vivienne knew they had lived a long, peaceful life filled with love, so her heart was at ease despite how much she missed Albert.
But a few months after his death, she returned home from Sunday mass to see a bouquet of her favorite flowers on her doorstep. “Oh, aren’t these the most exquisite roses!” Vivienne said to herself after picking them up.
She called her daughter, Miriam, who told her she didn't send them. Vivienne rang both her sons too, but neither Andrew nor Blake sent them either. They all promised to ask their children to see if any of them had.
But after a few phone calls, no one in the family could figure out who did it. “I’m sorry, Mom. None of my kids did. But Gina said that she once saw a movie where an old man instructed a flower shop to send flowers to his wife after his death,” Miriam said.
“Do you think your father did that?” Vivienne wondered.
“I don’t know, but I remember that Dad always got you flowers from the same shop. It couldn’t hurt to ask them,” Miriam suggested. So Vivienne called their go-to flower shop, but they didn’t have such an order from Albert.
She called Miriam again, but her daughter Gina had no other ideas. “Well, Mom. Maybe some kind stranger sent a random bouquet. Just enjoy them.”
Vivienne put the matter off her mind the rest of the week and continued with her life. However, another bouquet was waiting at her doorstep when she returned from mass the following Sunday.
“It’s weird, Miriam. What if it’s a creep or one of those stalkers I’ve read about?” she hesitated.
“Stop watching crime documentaries, Mom. It’s none of that. Just enjoy the flowers,” Miriam said, exasperated. She didn’t think her mother should be worried about flowers. But the bouquets kept coming every Sunday, and Vivienne needed to know what was happening.
“Ok, Grandma. I bought you this camera for your front door. It records who comes to your doorstep and such,” explained Hanna, Miriam’s other daughter, when she came over to visit her grandmother. She installed the camera herself, and they waited to see what happened.
That Sunday, they saw a strange man with a bouquet. He left them on her porch then fled. “That’s weird, Grandma. It's a young man,” Hanna said when she browsed through the footage.
“See? It’s weird. I told your mother this whole thing was odd, but she doesn’t think it’s a big deal,” Vivienne replied.
“I think he might just be a delivery man. I don’t think he’s the one sending the flowers, although he’s not wearing a uniform,” Hanna observed. “Let’s wait to see if he comes around again.”
He did. The man came over every Sunday at the same time to deliver the flowers. Finally, Vivienne had enough and decided not to attend church to catch him. This time, Hanna and Andrew’s son, Jake, stayed with her just in case.
They were watching the live footage of the camera when the man showed up. Jake rushed to the door, opened it, and the man bolted. But Jake ran to catch him while Hanna stayed behind with Vivienne.
Jake caught him before the man could escape and brought him back to his grandmother’s house. “Who are you, young man? Why have you been delivering flowers here every week?” Vivienne asked sternly.
“Mrs. Harrison, this is hard to explain. My name is Michael, and your husband was my grandfather,” the man began.
“What? Are you crazy, man? We know all our cousins. There’s no way,” Jake warned angrily.
“I know it’s hard to take. From what I know, Grandpa Albert had an affair right before getting married. My grandmother didn’t know she was pregnant until months later. Then she raised my mother alone. But I reached out to Grandpa a few years ago,” Michael stated.
“We formed a nice bond. He told me about your family and wanted to introduce me to you guys. But the timing was never right. The last time I spoke to him, he said that if he passed, he hoped I would buy you flowers, as his apology for not telling you the truth sooner.”
“I can’t believe this,” Hanna whispered. Jake shook his head. But Vivienne knew that the boy was telling the truth. He looked just like Albert did when they got married.
“You are the spitting image of my late husband. Do you think I could meet your grandmother?” Vivienne asked. She had a few questions for the woman.
“I’m sorry. My Grandma and Mom died in a car accident when I was 20. That’s why I reached out to Grandpa. I didn’t have any family left,” Michael revealed.
“Oh, my dear. I’m sorry. In that case, I’m glad that you got to meet Albert. He was a family man through and through. This might be a shock to the rest of the family, but they will want to meet you,” Vivienne assured.
The entire family was shocked to learn about Grandpa Albert’s affair, but they welcomed Michael at Vivienne’s insistence. They had a BQQ party where everyone got to meet him. Michael also introduced them to his wife and their toddler.
“Mom, how can you be so calm about this?” Miriam asked her mother at the gathering.
“Oh, honey. Life is so short. If I had discovered this incident years ago, maybe I would’ve been mad. But now, I’m just glad to have more people to love. Also, he followed your father’s wishes to make me happy. That tells you the kind of man he is,” Vivienne shared.
In the end, Michael formed a beautiful bond with most of his cousins, who were all around his age. It took a little longer for his aunt and uncles to accept him, but they did in the end.
But most surprisingly, Michael had a soft spot for Vivienne. He continued to bring her flowers every Sunday, and the older woman invited him for tea every time.
What can we learn from this story?
It’s easier to see the big picture when you’re older. Her kids and grandkids couldn’t understand at first, but Vivienne knew they would all be happier after accepting Michael.
Don’t keep secrets. Albert should’ve told his wife about Michael as soon as he found out. But he died before he could say anything.
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