I attended a birthday party recently — a 70th birthday to be exact. One of the main features of the afternoon was “Open Mic Time” during which various family members and friends went up to the microphone and told the gathering what the honored guest had meant to them over the years, and what she continues to mean to them. It was enlightening and moving to hear tributes from so many different people, of different ages and different walks of life, but all with the same core message — this woman is special.
How often do we tell people that they are special, and why we think they’re special?
There is, of course, another life event when we talk freely about how much a person has meant to us. We do this easily at funerals. We eulogize, we tell stories, we reminisce. This helps us, but why couldn’t we have told the person these things while they were still alive?
My mother used to talk about “flowers for the living.” By this, she didn’t mean giving literal bouquets of flowers to people, although she did that on occasion, as well. She meant taking the time and the thought to share with people the reasons they mean something to us.
Was there a teacher who helped you in some special way? Tell them. I wish I had told my first grade teacher how much she meant to me. I kept intending to write to her, but now it’s too late. Do you appreciate the smile of someone you walk past every day on the way to work? Tell them.
When we blog, we enjoy the comments that are left on our posts. We, in turn, leave comments on others’ posts, telling them what the post meant to us, thanking them for the post. Maybe we can extend our comments beyond blog posts to the people we encounter in our everyday “real life.” A word, a gesture, a “flower for the living,” can mean a lot.
When we do this, and make it a habit to give people these “flowers” from our hearts, we will be able to move forward without regret of “I wish I had…”
My flower to you today is to say thank you for reading this, for being a part of my extended community, for supporting and inspiring me. Thank you for helping me move forward.