A friend who sent flowers to my mother’s funeral writes:
I was the white roses, because your mother seemed like white roses to me. When I called the local florist, it was early Monday morning, nine a.m. I figured out where your mother might be from Google, and called around. When I got the flower shop that starts with P, I tried to explain who I was and what I wanted, and who the flowers were for. The woman who answered the phone asked for the family name, and when I told her she sucked in her breath: “Oh, she was a lovely woman, a wonderful woman.” And then in this little Midwestern way, she managed to tell me she was not claiming closeness, just declaring what was obvious. It was so touching, and we had a nice talk.
That’s what my mother was like–and what small towns are like.