THE VALENTINE ROSES THAT CHANGED A LIFE. Helen Stanbrook, where are you?


This is story I republish every year when Valentine day approaches.   I am hoping one of the friends in this blog will read it and we will reconnect.  Helen Stanbrook,  I have been searching for you for years.

About a million February’s ago I was making plans for a truly splendid Valentine’s Day.  I had recently finished a script for a documentary film.  I had been paid extremely well  and wanted to celebrate this so romantic day in a special manner.

I thought about the loves of my life.  The important people in it.  What they meant to me.  There were several woman who were close friends but had moved to other cities.    Theirs was always the sympathetic ear. The helping hand.  The strong, stand by me attitude.  But they were no longer in my life.  Distance plays havoc with friendships.

I knew that some my friends did not have “significant others” in their lives, and  one friend struggled with her marriage.    I picked up the phone and ordered a dozen red roses to be sent to each of my four  friends.    I was very specific about how they were to be  delivered.  In a long florist box tied with an enormous ribbon.  And they were to be delivered the day before Valentine Day’s.  I wanted my friends to wake-up on that day to a room fragrant with roses.

I received happy thank-you notes but it was not until three years later did I discover just how much  the roses meant to one of my friends .  Over the years I saw her steadily gaining weight.  By the time she moved away she was more than 100 pounds overweight.

 A few years later I received a call from this friend.  She was in town briefly.  Would I meet her for a drink at her hotel?  I arrived early, sipped my wine watching for the friend I had not seen for years.  A tall,  gorgeous blond woman strode into the room.  Heads turned.  Admiring glances from men.  It was my friend.

This was her story.  When she received the roses she knew she had to change her life.  She told me that  of all her friends I was the only one who never suggested  she should loose weight.  She  said she knew that I expected one day she would do it – when the time was right.  She was in an emotionally abusive marriage.  On that Valentine’s day she started her program for weight loss.  As the pounds dropped away she became stronger and more confident.  Her abusive husband, unable to control this new woman, left her.    My friend got her life back.

 As we travel through life we have no concept of what a simple act of kindness can do.   We have a responsibility to care about our fellow man.   Perhaps this Valentine’s day one can send roses to their elderly neighbor.   Share your planned romantic dinner with your single friends.  Send cards telling your friends how important they are to you.

From the bottom of my heart a happy Valentine’s day to all who read my blog.


18 thoughts on “THE VALENTINE ROSES THAT CHANGED A LIFE. Helen Stanbrook, where are you?

    • There is nothing more delicious than dark dark red roses!! The sad part about my story is my friend Helen completely disappeared off my radar – no phone number, no forwarding address. I wondered if perhaps it was to disappear from her ex-husband. XXX Miss V

  1. Virginia, this is a truly Those of us who have someone special in our lives should reach out more often to those who don’t at the time. And it is very true that we never know how much a simple act of kindness will affect someone’s life. Best VALENTINE’S DAY wishes to you! Love is love on Valentine’s Day!

    • My dear dear Jo Nell, It is all around us – this act of kindness. Yesterday I was at a bank and asked the teller where she was from. ” Mexico City” was the reply. “Ahh” “.. said I, “I spent several weeks including the Christmas holidays in Mexico City”. She immediately launched into an excited and detail account of all the celebrations involved at that time. Then she said ” I haven’t been back for seven years. Now that I think of it Christmas would be the best time to go.” A simple question from a total stranger opened a floodgate of happy memories – for both of us. XX V.

  2. That was the most touching blog post to read this morning, a lovely beginning to my day…gonna cherish every moment of love with all the people who alwAys matter to me…

    • In the hurly burly of our busy lives we sometimes forget to pause and smell the roses – and remember that it is the small acts of kindness that may make a difference in someones life. Virginia

      • I do also strongly believe in that :: as somewhere deep inside we tend to forget the few people for whom we form their beautiful world, in the daily hustle of life…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s