Gardenias: A Tender Mercy

June 04, 2018

The days and weeks (and let's be real, months) following Julian's death were a blur. My family was thrust into something that we never expected. We were confused and hurt and at a loss. I can't speak for everyone, but I felt that God must not care about us. Why else would He let this happen?
In a time where pain was overwhelming, there were a few tender mercies that helped us feel acknowledged and loved:


My mom's favorite flowers are gardenias. I can't remember when I learned that, but it seems that I've known it my entire life. As you probably know, it's common to send flowers when someone loses a loved one.
The first gardenia plant that we got was from my then-boyfriend's mom. When we opened up the box and saw what was inside, we were SHOCKED. I had never said anything to her about my mom liking gardenias, had I? I quickly texted her and she let me know that she wanted to send something that would last, and her mom really liked gardenias.
In total, I think 4 different people sent gardenia plants, and I don't think any of them knew how much my mom liked them. Gardenias aren't a very common flower to send, but here we were with four.
I don't know as much as I like to pretend, but I do know that those four amazing families must have been prompted in some way. God must've given them a little nudge to "send those gardenias" so that we could feel extra love when we got their flowers.

I am so grateful for all of the kindness that we have been shown through the loss of the last few years. Our hearts are still healing, and I think they always will be, but the inspired, loving people in our lives have made the burden of pain just a little bit lighter.

Yours truly,
McKay

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