The Story Behind the Narcissus Bulbs

I have the fable of the Narcissus Bulb in another post, but I thought it would be interesting for you to see where they are handed out.

Mike talks about handing out 80. But later on, the number grew to over 600 before he had to cut back because of the cost.

I passed out almost 80 Narcissus bulbs this year.

I’m always amazed by the response.

On one of the routes, I gave one to a whole string of businesses where the people had always seemed friendly. Then didn’t get back out again for almost a month, and was pleased to see each one of the businesses had the bulb prominently displayed, and blooming.

Gave a few to fellow employees. Mostly, though, I give them to the elderly people I see on the many routes I deliver.

The customers who struggle to the door each day, just to have a little contact with another human being (even if that person is the letter carrier.)

On one route, it was a 93 year old lady who lives by herself on the 2nd floor of a cheap apt. building in Burbank, talking with a thick accent of her impoverished years as a youth in Europe, and of caring for her invalid husband for 10 years until he died recently.

Another was a woman in Hometown who sits by her bay window all day long, waiting for the mailman to come, and inviting each one to bring her mail in her unlocked house and take a paper cup of choclate kisses. I fill her long-neglected bird-feeder to give her something to watch, and she tells me of her early days on a farm in Iowa. I didn’t get her bulb to her till after Christmas, and haven’t seen her since, but I hear from carriers that she’s thrilled with it.

Yesterday, I delivered to another elderly woman – every Saturday I see her sitting at a table in her den. Not much awareness in her face…always kinda blank. A very dysfunctional family. It wasn’t until recently that I thought “She might enjoy a friendly “hello”, so I began waving to her, and she’d weakly wave back. Then I thought, maybe she’d like a bulb. But I wasn’t sure how her kids would respond. So I left one two weeks ago. Yesterday I got back to see her again. Her daughter opened the window so she could thank me. The bulb – only 2 weeks old, was already 2′ tall and blooming! They were amazed. The daughter said, “Once, we left the room for 2 hours, and to got TWICE as tall.” The woman herself could only offer a weak wave and a smile, but there was a glow to it. (Imagine, having to sit at a table everyday, but now having something grow while you watch it.)

I’ve been giving so many away, I haven’t had enough to give to the “regulars” – neighbors, people for church, etc. And the nurseries don’t carry them anymore.

I had the last one put aside for my cousin Mary Celine for her birthday.

But one of the guys from work has been caring for both of his parents, and now his Dad has been in intensive care for a week, deteriorating.

So, I’m afraid Mary’s will go to Mark’s Mom and Dad.