“Max owned the florist shop a few doors down, The Pink Rosette. Melanie breathed deep when she entered. The scent of sweet flowers filled the air. He came out around the counter to greet her. His round, wire-rimmed glasses and flowing, thin, white hair made him look like an old rock star. The smeared green and brown stains on his apron almost covered the signature single pink rosette embroidered on the bib.” ~ Shattered Guilt
Flowers transport us to a glorious state of joy, so I had to include a florist shop in Shattered Guilt. The Pink Rosette and Max are some of the few places and people in Shattered Guilt that are totally fictionalized. Although I had a loose inspiration for Max, the Florist Shop was much easier to create than his character.
Pink is one of my favorite colors, and roses are my favorite flower. So, The Pink Rosette was a no-brainer for me. A while ago, I wrote a little sentimental piece entitled “Mama Like the Roses…and Elvis.” Here’s the link if you enjoy nostalgia.
Roses or Peonies?
I never aspired to open a florist shop, but Pink Rosette would be the name if I did. I even have a blog by that title. It’s somewhere out there in blogger cyberspace.
As I said, I love roses, but peonies are my second favorite. A scene in Shattered Guilt features these flowers in a bouquet for an aging woman in the hospital. It was a complex scene to write, but I hope you’ll feel the husband’s bittersweet joy when Melanie gave him his wife’s favorite peonies.
Unfortunately, here in California, peonies hit our Trader Joe’s Market once a year, and that’s it. My son surprised me with them this year, and what a special treat. Usually, I get a giant mixed bouquet and try as I might, I can’t seem to get them in the vase just right. So, I finally found a YouTube video that showed me how to arrange them. If you are often blessed with bouquets and want to do more than just stuff them in a vase, watch this video. It’s short and very helpful.
Interestingly, the florist in the video and Max both have British accents. Just a coincidence, but Max was inspired by a TV show personality. I used only a few of his characteristics, but I struggled to get my Max’s personality just right, and I am happy with who he’s become. Max is a quiet, calming presence in all the books, and it helps that he has a soothing accent. He makes brief appearances in Shattered Guilt and Restored Grace but he takes center stage in Book 3, Shadowed Joy. Max is the love interest for Roxanne, the main character. I finished the first draft, and it’s waiting for edit now. The release date is June 2023. The suspense in that one is pretty intense!
As much as I love flowers, both living ones and arrangements in vases, I’m so sad when they go limp. Although, somehow, I manage to make them last a long time. My kids are always amazed that a bouquet they gave me a week ago still looks fresh. The tip? Change the water often!
But still, I can’t help but feel a little melancholy when something that brought so much joy, dies. When it’s time to toss them out, it just pains me. I’ve even tried to dry some of them, but they always make a crinkly mess. Isaiah 40:8 comes to mind.
That’s such a beautiful hope. The word of our God will stand forever. It will never wither. It will never fade. It will never turn into a crinkly mess. As much pleasure as those petals bursting with color and fragrance brought me, I can’t help but think of who created them. And when I do, I imagine heaven, in all its beauty and glory, and I’m overwhelmed with the magnificence of God’s majesty. Of God Himself.
The words in the song “Who am I?” by Casting Crowns expresses this perfectly… I am a flower quickly fading, Here today and gone tomorrow. I’ll leave you with it. It grips my heart every time. As precious as flowers are to us, we are so much more to God. Be blessed.