After the death of my husband, I drowned myself in flowers, a bittersweet memory of the good times we’d shared. I’d had the good fortune to fall in love with a man who wasn’t great with words but understood the language of flowers. There had been flowers for every occasion, which culminated into the biggest flower delivery of all, my own shop in the small town of Willow Valley, Peggy’s Petals. So I spent all my time and energy building my small flower shop.

Eight years later, my friends are trying to encourage me to move on, but how does a person so that and leave behind the guilt they hold? Instead, I tried something safer. My best friend, Trinity, suggested I join the Army pen pal program. It seemed the safest ways to test out the waters with someone new, and the best part, we’d never meet, or so I thought.


I’d now been divorced longer than I’d been married and thanks to countless deployments, I knew the men under my command better than I knew my own daughter. As I neared retirement, I wanted to change that. I started writing to my daughter. She was my first pen pal and in one of her letters she explained that she had been doing some volunteer work for a non – profit and she wanted me to get involved.

Apparently, all I needed to do was write a pen pal provided by the non-profit. So, I signed up, and began exchanging letters. This went on religiously for more than a year. The more I knew about her, the more I wanted to know. Then kismet played its hand. Melinda, my daughter, and Peggy, my pen pal lived in the same small town.

As I prepared for retirement, I finally knew where I wanted to settle down. The military had given me an amazing life, now I wanted the job of being a family man, which meant being with my family. I planned to move to Willow Valley, build a relationship with my daughter, and if I had my way, build one with Peggy too.