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Sarah Simpson column: A stop for headache medicine results in a beautiful bouquet

A girl with a headache leans on her daddy’s leg while clutching her beautiful flowers. (Kevin Rothbauer photo)

This past weekend went by in a blur. Our family was atypically busy and on Saturday we were also atypically split in two. My niece from the lower mainland was playing soccer up in Nanaimo and my daughter had a lacrosse game in Greater Victoria and of course they were at the same time.

Given my sister was coming over to watch my niece and I don’t get to see her or her daughter frequently, I opted to take my son to that game while my husband, the coach of our daughter’s lacrosse team, took her south.

“Do something special with her,” I told him. “It’s a daddy-daughter day.”

He agreed.

They had their lacrosse game and my poor diminutive daughter had to run harder than usual due to some missing players. That in itself would have exhausted her for the rest of the day but after the game she and her dad went for a special sushi lunch, then to the butterfly gardens where she was disappointed none would land on her and tons would land on her dad, but less disappointed when she learned butterflies like to land on smelly things.

After that, they went to the sports store and then out for a burger for dinner. It was a jam packed day and she was very tired as a result. To top it off, it was really hot that day, if you remember.

My daughter was in a great mood all day, except for the no butterflies landing on her bit, but mid-day she mentioned she had a headache. My husband did his best to keep her cool and hydrated but atop the Malahat on their drive home, her headache was so big that she asked her dad to stop in Mill Bay for medicine.

She then promptly fell asleep.

Did he stop in Mill Bay and wake her or did he keep going? He decided to risk it and let her sleep and to keep driving, knowing there was medicine at home.

Naturally, just after they passed the Mill Bay Centre turnoff, she woke up wailing as her head hurt so badly.

The pair ended up stopping at Valleyview Centre, and with my daughter still crying, went into Country Grocer for some electrolytes and Advil (and candy because… well, Dad was shopping, not Mom). She had tears running down her face and was sobbing inside the store and once they got back outside, she sat down on the curb and cried some more.

Knowing I was still on my way home from Nanaimo with my son, my husband wasn’t in any rush to get her back into the car, so he sat with her while she cried, waiting for the medicine to kick in.

They phoned me and my husband was explaining the situation when I overheard a woman’s voice on his end of the phone.

“Tomorrow will be better, sweetie,” said the voice.

I didn’t know what was happening until after she’d walked away but my husband told me a woman had come out of the grocery store with a bouquet of five purple tulips and walked right over to my daughter and gave them to her!

He was so shocked and so touched a stranger would do that for our clearly miserable child.

“That was the only thing she had with her when she came back out, so it really seems like she brought her groceries out, then went back in specifically to get the flowers,” he explained. “It was so, so kind.”

So, to the thoughtful woman with the flowers in the Valleyview Centre parking lot, thank you. My daughter took her flowers to her bedroom at bedtime and brought them back to the kitchen counter the next morning so she wouldn’t miss them overnight. That’s how much they mean to her.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness. It brightened both my daughter and her daddy’s day and as a result, it brightened mine as well. There are still good people in the world, you are living proof of that. My family will pay it forward.