TOPIC OF THIS CONTEST WAS:
Hearing a light thump outside, she walked to the front door and opened it slowly. Wind and snow swirled and the cold lashed her cheeks. By her feet she discovered a small pot with tiny white flowers. She recognized it as a Galanthus nivalis. Footprints in the snow led to and from the porch and a note tied to the slender stalk fluttered in the icy air…
(Entries must touch on the topic in some way to qualify.)
Hearing a light thump outside, Melissa walked to the front door and opened it slowly. Wind and snow swirled and the cold lashed her cheeks. By her feet she discovered a small pot with tiny white flowers. She recognized it as a Galanthus nivalis. Footprints in the snow led to and from the porch and a note tied to the slender stalk fluttered in the icy air.
“Who sent these?” Melissa pondered, as she lifted the pot to examine the note more closely. Immediately, she realized that the snowflakes had kissed the paper, rendering the words of the note illegible. The smeared ink offered no help for unraveling the mystery behind the simple hunter green colored pot and the purely delightful little white flowers now smiling at Melissa.
The flower, known as the snowdrop, is symbolic of purity and innocence. According to legend, an angel once caught a snowflake in his hand, breathed his life into its icy crystals and then ushered the snowdrop to the earth where it bloomed and provided hope to the world. Melissa knew her world needed a little hope, even if very few people around her were aware. She hid her soul-touched pain well.
Nearly a year before this unexplained floral delivery, Melissa’s nephew, Ricky, had lost his lifeóat the age of fiveóto a rare childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma. From the day he was born, Ricky, the goofy toddler with curly red hair thatóprior to the chemotherapy’s tollóhad perfectly shaped his face full of freckles, had become Melissa’s little buddy. To his beloved Aunt, Ricky had signified innocence, purity, and all things good about the world in general. He had even turned Melissa into a SpongeBob Squarepants fanatic for a time, something that no one believed could ever happen. He simply meant that much to her.
Since Ricky’s death, Melissa had tried her best to maintain a positive front for the world around her to see despite the fact that deep in her heart she could not deny that her faith in humanity, higher powers, and life in general had turned as cold as the outside conditions that someone had braved in bringing her the snowdrop. She had simply seen too much sadness and too much pain over those last twelve months to believe that good could possibly still exist. Through a year of intense grief, Melissa’s resolve had slowly withered away.
Suddenly realizing that her wet, freshly showered head and bare feet had stood outside for the better part of twenty minutes just staring at the pot, Melissa recovered from her heartbreaking recollections of Ricky and made the conscientious effort to go inside. She had once heard that bringing a snowdrop indoors was considered bad luckóand the young woman did not need more hardshipóso she left the pot on the porch and headed towards her kitchen to call her friends and family, hoping that someone had indeed sent her the potted plant.
“Mom, was it you?”
“Did Dad send them?”
She called her brother, Eddie, and he also knew nothing about the flowers.
Suddenly, Melissa did not know if she should be happily excited or incredibly terrified over the fact that perhaps some stranger or stalker had sent her the plant. Surely, the flower’s delivery had to be harmless, didn’t it? Without question, the curiosity about the identity of the giver overwhelmed the sweetness of the flower itself.
For the next hour, Melissa sat quietly while the snow continued to drift outside her bay window. The flakes eventually began to cover the leaves of the snowdrop, further shrouding the plant in ambiguity. Melissa continued to replay the delivery in her mind, almost to the point of making herself insane; then, the phone rang:
“Melissa, It’s Barb Nelson from Plattfield & Nelson Attorneys-at-Law. Did you get my message?”
“Hello, Barb. Um. No. What message?”
“The flowers. Did you get my note with the flowers?”
“You sent the flowers?” Melissa asked her attorney’s legal assistant.
“Our office sent them. We wanted to surprise you by letting you know that we have finalized to adopt that darling little boy from overseas.”
Tears began to well in Melissa’s eyes as she let out a broken, teary, but sincere “Thank you.”
“You should be able to go and bring him home in the next three weeks.”
Melissa became overwhelmed in speechlessness and immediately thought of both the flowers and her nephew. After a year of personal pain, the adoption news brought with it a faint glimpse of the innocence she knew in her childhood and that she had witnessed every day in her nephew’s fighting spirit.
The young mother-to-be’s mind had begun to wander, thinking of the world and again seeing its infinite possibilities when Barb broke the momentum to ask, “What do you plan to name him?” As she smiled, Melissa said, “Ricky, after the most beautiful child to ever grace my world.”
Just as the angel breathed his life into the snowdrop and sent it to earth as a source of hope for the world, Melissa had no doubt her angelic nephew, Ricky, had somehow breathed his life into those flowers to restore her hope, her faith and her heart.