“It’s right there.” I don’t know how many times I’ve said that in my lifetime. One of our kids could walk into a room to get something I knew was on the coffee table, look around (at eye level) and say, “It’s not here.” “Yes it is,” I would reply. “It’s right there on the coffee table.” “Oh, I didn’t see it,”would be the response. Why is it that at times we cannot see the obvious?
My mother died in December 22nd, just before Christmas. The actual death process lasted a week or so. My work place was very gracious and at a moment’s notice they all pitched in to cover my shifts so I could stay with Dad and Mom through this last step of her life’s journey. With the funeral the day after Christmas there was not much time for planning. Mom’s love of flowers was well known. After a life time of being a beautician, she retired from that and went to floral design school. Dad wanted to honor her with flowers so we went to her last place of employment. The manager there had worked with Mom. She patiently and kindly helped Dad and I choose flowers for the casket. She asked us what other things we thought about when we thought of Mom. Birds was our first response. At this time of year red Cardinals usually adorned our house in amongst the Christmas decorations. So I collected as many as I could find in the short time allotted and took them to the florist. She worked them into a unique arrangement, each Cardinal on it’s own stem so when the time came we could all take one home with us.
Plants and flowers arrived at the funeral home as a symbol of love and support at this time of loss in our life. Most of these generous gifts were sent through that same local florist where Mom had worked. One plant was a large deep green Peace Lilly sent by my workplace. I was touched by their thoughtfulness and generosity after giving of themselves to cover my shifts without complaint. After the funeral it was my job to disperse the flowers and plants. I claimed the beautiful Peace Lilly from my work place. When it came time to leave my husband wondered if we would be able to get it home due to the large size of the plant compared to our small car. We did. It has held a spot where I could see it daily. It reminds me of the love of my Mom and my friends who sent it.
Months have passed and I’ve thought several times I need to re-pot that beautiful Peace Lilly. I knew it was in a temporary pot barely big enough to allow it to live, let along grow. That pot was covered by a red wicker covering. The red wicker was perfect at Christmas time but wasn’t my choice for year ‘round decor. I finally got to it last week. After carrying it outside along with the new pot I intended to use I got down on my knees, put my gloves on and took hold of the big plant. With one easy pull the entire plant with it’s black plastic liner pot came out of the wicker covering. As I looked down I was caught completely by surprise. There was a dark evergreen band around the top of the wicker pot. That green band was trimmed in red Cardinals. I was overcome with tears and smiles. Mom would have loved this, the pot and the plant. The manager at the local florist had never said a word but she wove her respect of my Mom through all of her creative work for our family at the time of my mother’s death. The Cardnals trimming the top of the pot were there all along, at the funeral, when we moved it home, each day as I saw the plant but I never noticed them until I got down on my knees and worked with the plant.
I wonder how many other “gifts” are in my every day that I miss seeing? Do you have a story of a missed gift or kindness?