Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Husband Always Brings Me Roses

(But they're rarely from the florist)

The first part of this is from an article in the Ensign back in 1988. It captures what I consider to be one of my greatest blessings in life -- the way my husband showers me with roses. You should be jealous, because I married one of those men who gives me flowers DAILY!"

"Growing up as an incurable romantic, I was certain that when Prince Charming came along on his white charger, his arms would be filled with red roses. My tall, dark, and handsome prince would bow deeply, then shower me with the roses before sweeping me away on his trusty steed.

"Indeed, I did find my prince. He was tall, dark, and handsome. But I should have recognized some flaws in my plan when his white charger turned out to be an Arabian bay mare. At first, I was so caught up in the excitement of love and marriage that I completely forgot the roses. Later, though, as daily routine dulled some of the excitement, I began to wonder about the armloads of roses I’d been expecting. Somehow, they kept eluding me.

"True, at the births of our first three babies, thanks to some broad hints dropped throughout each pregnancy, he had remembered the roses—one dozen long-stemmed beauties each time. Then, with number four, his practical nature finally got the best of him, and he presented me with—a cactus! It was a big, beautiful cactus—but still I longed for roses.

"Several completely flowerless years passed. Then, as I was about to resign myself to a life without roses, a wonderful thing happened. I began to see that roses are where you find them, and they don’t always have red velvet petals or long green stems. This prince of mine had been showering me with roses all along. I had just failed to notice.

"When I was young, I foolishly prayed for a life filled with romance. But a wise Heavenly Father has blessed me with something far richer—a life filled with genuine love.

"I thank my Heavenly Father, too, for giving me the maturity to recognize roses where I find them. Support, kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity may not be the kinds of roses I dreamed of as a romantic young girl, but as I discover and treasure each blossom, I become more grateful for this strong, kind, and gentle Prince Charming who showers me each day with roses.

"One night, I was awakened by the sounds of a sick child in the room across the hall. I called to him, warning him to hurry to the bathroom. But down the hall, I could hear undeniably that he had not been successful. I hurried to his rescue and helped him bathe and change clothes. When I returned our child to bed, I found my prince on his hands and knees, scrubbing the hall carpet. It was only after we had finished cleaning the carpet and had returned to bed that I realized what a lovely rose my husband had just given me.

"Since then, I have found roses everywhere. I love to jog, but my prince doesn’t share my enthusiasm. Still, he will take me miles out of his way to find a new route. Then he tends the children until I return home. It was also my nonathletic prince who gave me my beautiful new running suit.

"I see his roses in everyday loyalty. He hauls my paraphernalia to every Relief Society meeting I conduct. I won’t say he has never complained, but there is always a goodnatured, lighthearted feeling in his teasing. This bouquet of support is one of lasting beauty.

"When my father passed away, my prince again was there, with perhaps his finest rose. My mother was left with a big home and yard, as well as the everyday problems of living alone. My husband took responsibility for two households without a second’s hesitation. And he has done it in such a sensitive way that my mother feels his sincere love and is not uncomfortable or embarrassed by his care. Could any other rose have smelled as sweet?"

This article was written 23 years ago, but I found it a few years later. It was after a time when I had felt so successful in our marriage (all 9 years of it). I was working and had finally figured out the right way to drop the right hint with the right amount of longingness to have my husband send flowers to me at my work for some special occasion. (sadly, I can't even remember which one now) They were gorgeous! I was tickled that everyone finally knew the I had an amazing Prince Charming of my own. 

Then along came this article, and I found myself feeling like such a shallow person.  It had such an impact on my life, and my marriage. It was 1995, I was working full-time, teaching early morning seminary, and had two young children. I had just gotten a grand idea of teaching 3 Nephi 11 in seminary via a multi media experience - long before true multi-media resources were easily available (unless you're married to Mark Carlile). I remember it was midnight when we went to my classroom at church to set up tape decks, speakers, two vcr's, a projection unit (the giant beast kind), window coverings, mini lights, screens, etc. It took over 3 hours to set it up and make everything work right. 

Gratefully, every single element contributed to a very very moving teaching/learning experience the next day. It went exactly as I'd envisioned it. Parents even commented on how that spiritual experience had lingered with their child for a long time afterwards. 

At 7am Mark arrived to take everything down (going into work late), while I ran home to take kids to their sitter, and then off to work. That night, and for a few nights afterward, he spent hours putting all the 'gear' we'd used away.

It was about a week later when I came across the article above. I read it, and then I just sat there and cried. I realized that I didn't know a single other person who had a husband who would do what mine had just done for me. I don't mean who 'could' do that. I mean, who 'would' do that. And not complain, or roll his eyes, or do anything but give support and help just because he knew how much it meant to me to be able to carry out a vision of mine.

Then I sadly remembered how important I had thought it was to be one of those women who got roses at work. And why? To 'prove' to others that I had my own Prince Charming. Really? Talk about feeling shallow, and immature, and ungrateful. And so I cried some more.

I can't begin to list the ways my husband showers me with flowers. As my helpmeet. As our children's father. As my partner and 'crew' behind all I want to do. In the way he supports me in my callings (most of which I literally could not have done without him). And how he encourages me to get away at times to Women's Conference, or Girls Camp, or Ed Week, or with friends to be renewed & to take care of 'me'. How he builds with his own hands and talent all the many things I get visions of in our home. How he makes my crazy ideas turn into reality. How he never never NEVER complains, or speaks to me in any way but encouraging and supportive.  

If I never see another flower in a vase - I will still forever know I have found my Prince Charming.

Sounds kind of funny coming from an almost 50 year-old, but of all my young girl dreams, this one has, without a doubt, come true!


  1. Thank you, Jonna. Just what I needed today. I am not a romantic--that would be my husband, actually! But in whatever way we do it, we all need to "see things as they really are", including the way we are shown love.~Chari

  2. I'm proud to say I've always known Mark was a prince charming. These pictures are beautiful--I get choked up just looking at them.

  3. So so sweet. I think it's very cool your girls want to marry someone like their dad - that's not an easy thing for lots of young ladies to say. You got a great one!!

  4. That was a great story, Jonna. (And a good reminder.) And beautiful pictures!
    Melody (Cheri's mom)

  5. My husband gives me these kind of roses, too, all the time.