Sweet Mr. Lee’s Flowers – by Debbie Ambrous

A gift of cockscomb flowers. When they are dried, a zillion little seed like coarsely ground pepper will produce new plants for me. A gift that keeps giving!

A colonoscopy was scheduled.  I hear OMG and Eww!!!  Don’t turn tail and hit the delete button.  Wish I could have!  Learnin’ is in this tale (pun intended), and I believe I will laugh about it in a few weeks.

Green jello jiggled on my plate, and my complexion matched.  Jim was gallant and allowed me to watch whatever on TV.  “Whatever” was on every channel.  Raymond, the bumbling husband on “Everybody Loves Raymond” was apologizing for one of his blunders at a B&B with a “shared” bathroom.  Jim was listening and considering booking a B&B with a private bathroom until my procedure was over.

Twilight stroked the pine needles of the tall, stately, evergreen trees on the day of the special event.  A woodsy patch of oak, dogwood and hickory trees shadow a tiny stream where deer leave tracks, and secretly disappear only to be glimpsed rarely.  Jim was watching.  Trumpets blared in the form of my voice, and he remembered his Princely duties.  He drove along the lanes taking me like Marie Antoinette to the guillotine with my bed-head hair piled atop my head in a copycat hairdo.  Chanel cosmetics were not wasted on this appearance. The waiting room was empty with no one to impress, and no reporters from the local newspaper or Entertainment Tonight jumped the fence for photos, so no need even for Maybelline.

Mild Disclaimer: This tale was scribbled on a Nespresso note pad during a fever and drug induced state.

Now here’s more learnin’ … According to some of the experts, the Great Writers were spilling out their tales in my very same condition!


The best part was the sleep.  The worst part was a little extra bonus –  Barium!  Here’s the learnin’!  Barium is not cosmetic surgery erasing cellulite and old age spots!  When you hear this word uttered even when offered as an extra freebie with 100,000 skymiles, matching luggage and a pre-paid platinum credit card, say “NO.”  Let me backtrack.  Grab the credit card since you may need it.  Forget your clothes and shoes even if you wore Manola Blahnik’s best.  Run with the backdoor of your gown open despite your derriere bearing no resemblance to Angelina Jolie’s.

Don’t copy my example.  I did the capital “B”.  According to the hospital experts my innards are as curvy as a Miami senorita.  According to me, they were using tubes for a macho, eighteen-wheeler truck driver instead of my special, designer, diva equipment. I was wheeled deep into the bowels of the hospital, and a cute blonde with strawberry streaks in her hair told me to “breathe” and “don’t breathe” until I said, “Honey, don’t worry. I haven’t breathed since I entered the room.”

Home!  My king-size, extra plush mattress consoled me as I lounged away my misery and drifted to sleep.


Sweet Mr. Lee is our neighbor and friend. He brings flower seeds and smiles into our garden. Mr. Lee and I have “Construction” in common. He is a soil expert, and he worked on the roads that crisscross downtown Miami.

Awakening from my slumber, I beheld through the window –  Sweet Mr. Lee!  Red velvety flowers, a gift for me was in his hands.

This flower is also called Brain Celosia. I’m sure you can see why. The leafy stems grow 12-28 inches, and the crested flower head is 2-5 inches.  Photography by Jim Ambrous

Remaining inside, hiding my ugly hair, I waited for the men.  Jim brought Sweet Mr. Lee’s beautiful bouquet to me.  Two wonderful men in my life!  I was a good girl at the hospital.

Now I could cry …

Thanks to the wonderful, caring hospital staff!!  You were so kind to me every step of the way.

Don’t forget to click on the France storytelling & pictures page.  Please share this link with friends.  Thank you for your wonderful support!!

12 thoughts on “Sweet Mr. Lee’s Flowers – by Debbie Ambrous

  1. Our sweet Miss Debbie you were so brave. Glad it went well. Now It’s Jims turn. I need you to e-mail me your e-mail address as something I sent was just returned

    • I just kept remembering the clambake when I dressed as a pirate wearing a red dress and black boots. I thought I was tough enough that I could keep the scoundrels under control. Wish we could be with you this year. Your parties are always the best!!!

  2. I’ve seen those flowers many a times, but didn’t know what they were. Beautiful!
    So sorry you had to go through that horrible ordeal 🙁

  3. Hope you’re feeling better! Mr. Lee does look like a sweetie and his personality matches to boot. So nice to have such a kind neighbor. BTW, Ricky had his first #3 part this past Wednesday.

  4. What a story to tell, whilst reading the tears started to roll! Two wonderful kind men to aide you during the Hospital stay. I was feeling a little low, no reason just down in the dumps, now I feel ashamed when as they say some-one somewhere is feeling worse than yourself. Glad you are home and in your own confort-zone.

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed the story. We all visit “the dumps” occasionally and manage to leave and find a better comfort place. I’m happy to say that I had a good report from my procedure, and I had a very kind group of people who helped me through all of it, especially my two Princes! Hope you are having a lovely day.

    • I’m thankful the reports were good also. I bought roses that were on sale at Lowe’s today. I plan to help Jim plant them. I can’t let him have all of the fun. My jasmine vines that were planted earlier this spring have climbed to the top of the trellis, and they’re blooming with fragrance all around. Thanks for your sweet comments, Lori. Just as nice as I would expect from you!

Leave a Reply to Lori Bichara Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *