Nearly everyone I know has lost someone dear to them– a parent, child, brother, friend. Additionally, there is one thing I’ve heard most of them say. “I wish I had told them once more…” It seems to be a recurring regret– those words we never had a chance or never took the chance to say.
My mother has always had a unique perspective on sending flowers. Her contention was that sending flowers when someone died did nothing for the person who died and was little consolation to the living. “Send flowers to people when they’re alive to enjoy them– and don’t have a house that looks like a flower shop already.” She has a point. I try to remember that. I can’t always do it, but I try.
The same is true of words. How quick we are to tell someone where we think they’re wrong. We fill out complaint cards at stores and restaurants, but are much less likely to send a note saying how well the business is doing. We fire off a frustrated email, scratch out a nasty note, and even pick up the phone and blast someone when they fail us, but do we just as readily send a note reminding them of how cherished they are? Do we write letters of love and encouragement? Do we thank people for being yielded to God and the example they are to us? In this day of Facebook tantrums every time someone makes a mistake, do we do the reverse– post to the world how blessed we are that our Great Aunt Bertha prays for us every day?
Those who know me get sick to death of one of my favorite poems. I drag it into a blog post every year, and I’m not about to break tradition now. Edward Roland Sill wrote the poem, The Fool’s Prayer. One line in it always pierces my heart, “The ill-timed truth we might have kept–Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?” Yes, we love to speak that truth and claim that “love” is the motivation. However, I tend to slide over the next line, “The word we had not sense to say–Who knows how grandly it had rung!” Who knows indeed?
I want to purpose to make April the month that I take the time to send a card, a private message, an email, a bouquet of flowers– to let people who are a blessing to me, important to me, just how thankful I am to have them in my life. It’s an invisible way of adding beauty around me, but I do believe it’ll bless me more than all the decorating, cleaning, or improving that I could ever do.