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YOU NEVER KNOW when you are going to die!

So do not put off enjoying life and doing what you love till later or until you grow old.

That day may never come and death might step in your face before you can step out to enjoy life.

Monica Newlands can testify to this thought-provoking fact.

Back in 1992, her only daughter died at 27 years of age.

It was an unexpected death that undeniably rocked Newlands’ world and threw her into her decision to hang up a long career as a teacher and realize her dream of becoming a florist.

In 1993, the science-oriented florist who holds a master’s in plant biochemistry, also studying flower design in Gloucestershire in England, took early retirement from her position as head of the science department at Combermere to open a destination flower shop.

The proprietor of Quality Flowers, Salters, St George, has not regretted her decision because being a florist makes her happy.

“My daughter died and I realized that you don’t really know how much time you have in life. I was thinking you wait until you are old and then you die.

I enjoy teaching but I love working with flowers.”

“In teaching you have to wait for your feedback until your students do their CXCs and other examinations. You make a flower arrangement, you get instant feedback because people tell you right then and there that they like it,” said Newlands, who holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical biology and also a Bachelor of Education from McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

For this Wednesday Woman, there are many aspects and features of that reproductive structure which she uses to create flower arrangements for all events and occasions to make people happy.

“Making things with flowers is being very creative. If you feel sad and somebody sent you flowers you should feel better. If you felt deserted and someone sent you flowers, you would say, ‘wow, I got a friend in the world’.”

The author recalled: “When my daughter died she was going to be cremated and you don’t really need flowers for a cremation. But I made her a spray of peach roses, her favourites. I felt good doing it and

that kind of took my mind off of what was happening – and it was beautiful, so it cheered me up. Even though you are sad, flowers will make you feel better.”

Why would a woman with such impressive academic credentials leave a predictable career to open an unpredictable flower shop?

 “I took early retirement for the purpose of having more fun in my life. Rather than waiting until God knows when and then I get too old and too tired. I don’t feel like the decision to become a florist was a waste of my education.

“I am able to do much more with my flowers and other arrangements because of my academic credentials,” said the florist who has made flower arrangements and decorations for a royal wedding and parties among other events.


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