“Give Them Their Flowers While They Live”
As I reflect on our 75th Anniversary Celebration at Woods-Valentine Mortuary held on December 14, 2003, I visualize the dozens of beautiful red poinsettias that lined the entrance to the mortuary. Pampered Lady Florist created magnificent arrangements of flowers for the stage and food tables. Fellow businesses and friends sent spectacular and colorful floral arrays and plants. Over sixty hostesses dressed in red, guided the tour of our redecorated facility and were adorned like beautiful roses. We are still receiving cards and calls from people expressing their congratulations and appreciation. I am thankful that my parents, Fred and Arzella Valentine, are being given their flowers while they live.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a season of love, remember to have a heart. Take time to say I love you and to demonstrate that love. I often tell my children “what you say is important, but what you do speaks volumes.” Words can be empty if there is no action to back them up. I am sometimes amazed at the reaction of others when I give them a gift. No matter how small the gift, we all feel valued and special when someone gives us something.
At funerals, some families receive many beautiful baskets of flowers and plants.
The cards express love and sentiments such as “you are in our thoughts and prayers.” The flowers are a tribute to how well thought of the person who passed on was, but did that person know that. Occasionally I hear regrets: “I wish I had said I love you”, “I wish I had called right away when I heard he was sick”, or “I kept meaning to visit her in the nursing home.” I have heard families say “they are here now, but where were they when he was sick.” We are so busy that we sometimes forget to take time out for those we love and care about. Our schedules are so full that it is easy to put something, or in this case, someone on the back burner.
Too often people experience unnecessary guilt and sadness over what they wish they had done for a loved one. This guilt intensifies the grief that we feel when the person passes away. Since tomorrow is not promised, act now, during this season of love. Give them their flowers while they live.
Gail Valentine Taylor, M.S.W.
Funeral Director, Notary Public