MESA, AZ - A wife's love of roses...
“Back in Minnesota we had tons of roses.”
And a husband's love…
“For about a week, I would cut roses and bring them into the bedroom for her so that she could smell her roses every morning,” says Dennis Pfliger. Dennis planted the rose bushes for his wife Kim, hoping to lift her spirits.
“In April 2011, my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer. In April 2013, they determined that the cancer had spread to her brain,” Pfliger explains.
While Kim is in the hospital fighting the cancer and battling seizures, Dennis found himself in a different kind of fight.
“I came out to water the roses and noticed that there's holes in the ground. Someone took out the rose by the street and the middle red rose. Just out of the ground and walked off with them,” says Dennis.
Angry and frustrated, he made a sign.
“Thank you for whoever has stolen the rose bushes, they were for my wife who is recovering from cancer,” reads Dennis. “Then I put, ‘thanks.’"
Dennis was hoping the thieves would see the sign and maybe even bring back the roses. He didn't expect what happened next.
“He just seemed shocked and stunned. He was like, ‘I can't believe that someone would come by and do this,’" says Keith Duffin.
Duffin and three of his kids had seen the sign earlier in the week and decided they wanted to help.
“This guy pulls up with three kids and drops off these rose trees. Kim just loves rose trees,” says Dennis. “I took pictures and sent them to her, and my daughter said she was actually in tears.”
“It's hard not to have some empathy for someone who's already in a painful situation and to have someone doing something to help his wife and have that taken away,” says Duffin.
Dennis says the roses meant the world to Kim, and for him, the gesture presented another challenge -- this time, a welcome one.
“I’m not much of a crier, but when the guy gave them to me, there were just tears in my eyes from it, because I can't believe what people are doing just for a sign,” says Dennis.
Duffin and his kids haven't been the only ones who've dropped off roses. In fact Dennis tells us he and Kim have received dozens of cards, letters, and gifts, and more than a dozen rose bushes since he put up the sign.