Julie’s Flowers

THE END

 

             Michael paused before revealing the mystery of his little tin box. “One day, when my brothers were playing,” he said to the gathered crowd, “a fight erupted over a model car. In the struggle, Matthew let go, and when Bobby’s head hit the floor, he began to cry. Mom rushed into the room and comforted Bobby. Then she turned her attention to me. She was disappointed that I’d allowed my younger brothers to squabble. She explained that we were going to have a baby sister soon, and she asked me to promise that I—being the eldest—would watch out for my little sister. I was to protect her from harm when Mom wasn’t around.

            “I vividly recall what she said. ‘Now, Michael, when you grow up, your baby sister will admire and respect you, even if she doesn’t say it. It’s just the natural order, and you have the honor of being her eldest brother. God brought you first into Mommy and Daddy’s life because, whether you know it or not, you are a leader. It’s a special gift from God. So if your sister is ever hurt or in trouble, you remind her who she is, and that we love her. She will listen to you one day, my son, when you don’t expect it.’ 

          “I promised Mom that I would, but when my sister went to heaven—and then Mom—I­ felt like I’d let them both down, so I wrote a note, put it in my little tin box, and gave it to Mommy at her memorial. George kept our gifts in the garden garage, in a special memory box. I reclaimed the tin box this morning. I’d like to read what I wrote all those years ago.”

           As Michael opened his tin box, he blinked in surprise. A second paper lay beneath his tiny, rolled-up scroll.  Bewildered, he lifted the note out of his tin box and began reading silently.

             Angie, saw that Michael was quite disturbed. “What is it, Michael?”

          Michael, moved by what he’d read, choked back tears. “It’s a page from Mom’s prayer journal, dated Friday, August 16th, 1968. Her death was recorded as August 17th. These would have been her very last words. But how did it get into my little box?”

            “Dad was the only one who would have had access to Mom’s prayer journal,” Matthew blurted. “He must have discovered it in Cyprus and brought it home.”

          Michael considered this. “Dad would have felt guilty, believing he was the cause of Mom’s death. He must have ripped out Mom’s last journal entry to keep, but not known what to do with it. Then he must have placed it in my tin box and asked George to store our gifts.

              “Let me read Mom’s prayer.” Michael tried to read, but he couldn’t see through the tears. He handed the note to Angie to read aloud.

           

I JUST DON’T KNOW

I DON’T KNOW, WHY I DIDN’T GET THE CHANCE 
TO HOLD YOU AND SAY HELLO, I JUST DON’T KNOW 
I DON’T KNOW, WHY I NEVER GOT THE CHANCE 
TO WATCH YOU BLOOM AND GROW, WELL I JUST DON’T KNOW 

BUT FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD I WILL TRUST YOU IN ALL THINGS
YES FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD THIS HEART OF MINE WILL SING

I DON’T KNOW, WHY I NEVER GOT TO TELL YOU STORIES 
OF LONG AGO, I JUST DON’T KNOW 
I DON’T KNOW, WHY I NEVER GOT THE CHANCE 
TO ROCK YOU TO AND FRO, I JUST DON’T KNOW 

BUT FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD I WILL TRUST YOU IN ALL THINGS
YES FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD THIS HEART OF MINE WILL SING

I DON’T KNOW, WHY YOU NEVER SAW THE SUN 
OR FELT THE WARM WIND BLOW, I JUST DON’T KNOW 
AND I DON’T KNOW WHY I HAD TO LOSE YOU LIKE I DID 
AND FEEL THIS SORROW, I JUST DON’T KNOW 

BUT FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD I WILL TRUST YOU IN ALL THINGS
YES FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD THIS HEART OF MINE WILL SING

 YES FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD I WILL TRUST YOU IN ALL THINGS
FOR YOUR GLORY MY GOD THIS HEART OF MINE WILL SING.

    

            Mara, full of emotion, turned to Michael and looked straight into his eyes. “Our mother was full of God’s love, and oh how I wish I could have been held in her arms! To honor my mother, I am no longer Mara; today I have become Winsome.”

            “Yes, you are my precious sister, Winsome,” Michael affirmed. “Not for one day, but for all of eternity.”

           Michael unwrapped and rolled out his scroll. He read to Winsome and to everyone gathered what he’d written as a grieving, eight-year-old son.

     
            “So you see, Winsome, Jesus has done a wonderful miracle. He’s given me the opportunity to keep my promise to Mom in this life, rather than waiting for us to be united in eternity.  I want to give you the kind of love that would make Mom smile.” Mathew chimed in. “You’ve got my love too, Winsome.” “We need to be sweet-smelling flowers,” Bobby concluded, “and make our parents proud.  We’re all Julie’s flowers, and we need to bloom where Mom and Dad have planted us.”