Lynda, my Alabama WordPress neighbor, told a sweet story today about a basket of daisies. Her tale triggered a memory that transported me back to a fall afternoon in Natchez, Mississippi. The memory had floated downstream in my memory bank, but I found it nestled comfortably in the placid waters of my reflections.
Almost twenty years ago, the town and people of Natchez Mississippi captured my heart. Time and neglect altered one eyesore of an old home that anchored a corner of that historic area of town. With the zoning board’s blessings, my former husband and I had the honor of restoring that ugly duckling back into the swan that she once was! A bonus to that project was meeting the dear sweet neighbors, some who became very good friends.
Life had other plans for me, and years later I returned to Natchez on a three-state visit to see my loved ones. A friend told me, “Oh Lisa! You know that couple that lived down the street? The ones that you loved so much? He died.”
My mind raced as I named the different people who lived near that house. I suspected it was the couple with the well-tended postage stamp of a front yard that always smiled with flowers. This time their yard was barren, which confirmed who was suffering with grief.
“Oh Lisa!” she exclaimed,“What will I do? He was my life!”
My heart ached for her, and I spent as much time with her as possible before moving to the next area of the state. As a parting gift, I bought a few packs of pansies and some pots of bright yellow chrysanthemums. I parked around the corner from her house, sneaked around and left them at her front door. A year later when I returned for a visit, she opened the door, looked at me and stated, ‘You’re the one who left those flowers.’
Long ago I illustrated three books for a 90-year old woman who was legally blind. Whenever I stopped by her house, she asked me to read the mail that had arrived since my last visit. She touched my heart deeply when she once said, “If I could live my life differently, the one thing I would change would be to visit the elderly more often.”
Since then, I have tried to always pause and make time for the elderly. Do you have an elderly neighbor, a friend who has lost a loved one, a friend who is suffering from a loss? If so, why not play ‘Flower Fairy” and surprise them with a token pot of bright flowers from the garden center and leave a happy smile on their doorstep? Are you suffering from a loss? Find a partner in the mischief and become flower fairies! Spreading sunshine is infectious, and you’ll find your heart a bit happier!
Here in Ecuador I pause and speak to my old friend in the wheelchair. (His handshake is bone-crushing strong!) For him, a smile and my attention are the flowers for his day.
Enjoy another Flower Fairy’s post here: Once Upon A Time In The West – Memories Of May Day. Thanks, Lynda, (Life on the Farmlet) for triggering these memories; thanks also for lighting our way to new ones!
May you find creative ways to spread sunshine on others’ lives this week, this month, this year! Some of that sunshine will rub off on you! Happy May Day!