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Story by Debb Stanton

DELIRIOUS PACEM

1942

Gerald Stangwright was the florist’s nephew.

Mr. Stangwright produced a lovely new perennial flower and gave Gerald a small cutting. Perfect, Gerald thought, I will give this to Sylvia before I ship out next week.

Every gift of a flower should be given with a note, so he took some notebook paper from his little sister and composed a letter to Sylvia.  He folded it into the shape of an envelope like the notes his sister got in school.

“Sylvia, my dear one,” Gerald cooed to his sweetheart on the top of a hill.  “My uncle grew a new kind of flower.  We want you to have it.”

“Ooh,” Sylvia said softly.  “What is the genus this flower is in, did he tell you?”  She fingered the red buds on the glorious little stem.

“Um, something like “delirious pacem.”  Sylvia giggled and then read Gerald’s note.

Gerald’s note was lengthy.  First he wrote Sylvia a poem that declared his love, then listed all the things he loved about Sylvia.

Now came the tearful part.

“My darling,” the cursive, impeccable handwriting said, “In case I don’t make it back from war, I want you to know that this flower is planted for you.  It’s a perennial, so it will come back every year.  When you see it, remember me and the way I will always love you.  I am yours for eternity.

With all my love ~ ~

Gerald”

2002

Sylvia was now using a cane.

Gerald never made it back home, and Sylvia had remained single.

Sylvia had to fly to her hometown to attend a class reunion.  The thought of who would NOT be there made her sad; she almost didn’t go.

Sylvia rented a car at the airport and drove to “Gerald’s Hill”, the place he had given her his promise and that lovely flower.  However, she got confused.  In place of a hill, there was a freeway surrounded by a chain link fence and lots of stones.

It sure is dry here, Sylvia thought.  It would take a miracle for any plant to grow.

But then — could it be? — Sylvia found her miracle.  There was a lovely red flowered plant growing in the midst of the stones.  No, it couldn’t have been planted here by the freeway.  Who would want to plant it in such barren surroundings?

Then Sylvia looked closer at the flowers. It was her delirious pacem!   The hill was now gone, but not the love they shared.  The love she still felt in her heart, the love that wherever he was now, he could surely feel it too.  He had promised her he would always love her. He had not imagined the freeway coming through town, but the good Lord above knew, and He had protected that precious plant for all these years.

Delirious pacem.  Sylvia thought “pacem” was Latin for “peace”.  She did feel some pacem now, and her teardrops watered the plant from Gerald.

Published inAuthor BlogDebbie Loesel StantonStories

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