Vinto Scarabello lost his wife of nearly 64 years late last summer. Ever since then he has gone to her grave as often as he could to bring flowers. Some were flowers he cut from the garden. Others were flowers he bought at a shop. In all cases, something he considers a miracle happened. The flowers turned purple.
In all cases, no matter what color the flower Scarabello brought, they turned out purple. The same color, Scarabello says, his wife counted as her favorite. Is it a sign? He thinks it is.
Florists say this happens as flowers age. But the miracle has brought Scarabello back to the church and given him comfort at a time when he needs it most. So who are we to say what is true?
What is obvious in all the interviews is the enormous love he feels for his late wife. It's heartbreakingly painful to see, but also so life affirming. Sometimes, in our busy lives, it is easy to take loved ones for granted. I know when my husband comes home from work, we are often in such a rush to get the kids fed, bathed and ready for bed, we very rarely have time to really love and appreciate one another.
I imagine at some point, assuming we are so lucky to live well into our 80s, that we will look back on these busy times and think they were wonderful. We had each other. We had everything.
Isn't that what marriage is all about? Loving someone so much that you can't imagine living without them. Loving someone so much you send them messages from beyond the grave. Just to bring them comfort. Whether it's real or not is hardly the point. It's real to him.
May we all be so lucky to have a love like that. And may we also take time to appreciate our loves now, when we are all still young and healthy. May we look at couples like the Scarabellos and recognize what true love and devotion are. And may we practice that in our lives every day.
My heart goes out to this man. I hope the purple flowers bring him comfort. And I hope they really are a message from his wife. Scratch that. I know they are.
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