Flowers Grow


The Flower Grows journey began when I had the unfortunate honor of conducting a business meeting on the morning of September 12, 2001. Standing there staring into to the faces of my colleagues, I couldn’t help but see the fear in their eyes and feel of the concerns that the previous day's events, 9/11, had thrown into each of our lives. So, I spoke with them extemporaneously about the indomitable nature of the human spirit and how we would come together, better ourselves, overcome the challenges, and then I reminded them that our own history tells us that we would rise again.

As I was concluding my comments, there was an 80 year old man in the group, Howard Brown, who kept poking his finger in my direction. As the group quieted down he stood and sternly said, “This message needs to be heard.” I committed to Howard that day, that with his help, I would deliver the message.

At the time I was also working with a Health Agency in Washington State, which had decided to promote the message of HOPE contained in message Flowers Grow. It was in that effort that the image of the flower struggling out of the rubble at ground zero was created. Unfortunately the Health Agency fell victim to the corruption of that era and was completely destroyed, so I tucked the image away in a file in my office and it remained there until the late winter of 2007.

I had gone into retirement to attend to the needs of my 80 year old Mother, who had become addicted to Methadone. On one particular difficult night, as my Mother struggled with her addiction and as I was struggling with the challenges that her situation had brought into my life, I found myself sitting in my office looking for solace.

Pulling the image from my files that night, I began to pen the words to Flowers Grow.  When I finished, I added the image to the words, framed it, and hung the poem on the wall of my Mother’s bedroom as encouragement to her in her struggles in life. The promise, "We will rise again," remained on her wall for her to see until she passed away in March of 2010.

I'm not sure the inspiration for the poem would have ever come had I not been asked to conduct the meeting the day after the events of 9/11. Nor would the message have the weight of my personal responsibility attached to it had Howard Brown not challenged me to share the message. The creation of the "Flowers Grow" image would have never happened had it not been for the promotion of the message in the community by the Health Agency, and the survival of the image through the complete destruction of the Health Agency and the death of Karl W. Chapman, the Agency's director, is further tribute to the power of the message in "Flowers Grow."

Lastly the poem, and now the creation of the song, would not have happened had I not taken on the responsibility to care for my aged Mother - because it was in feeling her fear, pain, and grief (coupled with my own frustrations), that the words and the meaning of "Flowers Grow" came to the surface. Then of course the song would have never have come into existence if a young composer, Kevin Kula, on his own personal mission create "Music that Heals the Soul" and to share his talent with the community, had not been introduced to me and motivated to take the time to create something that was designed to lift the soul! The creation is short of a miracle because never in my wildest imagination would I have ever considered myself to be a lyricist - no one would be more surprised than my English teachers, and I have the report cards to prove it.

So, I decided to share the video with you with the hope that the message gives meaning to your life and situation. AND if your community would be interested in giving tribute to the Greatest Generation, let us know as dates for the concert are available. (Please feel free to share this with your friends and neighbors.)

Thank you for your individual participation in this journey and helping me keep my promise to Howard Brown.


Tom Fairbanks

PS - If you're interested, these are just a few comments we have received. It will be interesting to see where all of this leads

Beautiful song and lyrics – the message is very timely.

Gary Thompson

Herald Journal - Letter to the Editor

Monday, June 27, we attended a most enjoyable evening of music performed by three very accomplished musicians! "A Musical Tribute to the Greatest Generation" was very professionally performed and could not have been any better if there had been 50 musicians. Congratulations to Kevin, Jeremy and Mami for filling the Utah State University Performance Hall! We look forward to your next concert!

Richard & Margaret Townsend - Logan

This is beautiful and amazing how all of life's Challenges go together to make a miracle.

Amy Mower

Very soothing/healing music, Well done!

Dan Felt

I'm really impressed - this was quite moving!

Jenelle Vance