"I wanted the people you love to give you flowers," Jessica told me the morning after she proposed. And I was instantly reminded of the saying, “Give people flowers while they’re still alive.” The day before, when I walked up the stairs to the High Line, I didn't expect to see my sister standing at the top with a rose in her hand—she was supposed to be in Brooklyn getting a car fixed. Then, standing a few yards away, I saw a dear friend also holding a rose. As I made my way down the high line’s path, more and more familiar faces turned to me. New, longtime and long-distance friends, who Jess had gathered, gave me roses and words of affirmation. One hugged me and whispered, “You’re ready.” And I said, “I am.” Shaking, I tried to keep from crying as strangers watched and waited to see what was happening, to understand why I was collecting roses and a crowd on my walk to who I assumed was Jess. Nearing the end of the line, I completely broke when I saw my little brother, who had just moved miles away to start his own family. He returned for the day to give me a rose; and with tears in his eyes, he wrapped his arms around me, kissed the top of my head, and repeated, “I love you,” before letting me go. Not far behind him stood my partner, my best friend, my dream girl. The person who’s given me literally hundreds of flowers over the past eight years. Lined up in front of her were photos of us from over the past eight years, reminders of all of the places we’ve gone and things we’ve done. The home stretch to her felt like a walk into the rest of our lives. In each step I felt closer to our future—future moving days, dog adoptions, over-seas flights, new job titles, not-so-chill anniversaries, not-so-chill kids, and major life events with our families. By the time I reached her, I had a full bouquet in my hands. Just like I did after I graduated, after my first day at work, after I quit my job to go back to school, after I de-boarded a flight from a work trip, after I gave a speech, after I did anything that scared me or made me feel alive. That day, that moment, felt special because it felt like any other day loving and being loved by her. I am grateful to everyone* holding up our relationship and giving me my roses. I’m grateful to get flowers that remind me I’m living.


©2020 KadiaScope by Kadia Tubman