I have lived with a simple philosophy and commitment that you should appreciate people
while they are living. Saying “thank you”, “I love you”, “I need you”, “having you in my life has been a blessing”, or any words that convey heartfelt gratitude and appreciation should happen daily.
Recently I read about Sue Williams, a lady I’ve never met but would have loved to,
and what she taught her children. She said, “We should give our roses to the living and not
save them for the dead. When a person dies, everyone who loved them will cancel their other obligations, send a big bouquet of flowers, jump on an airplane and fly across the country to look at their dead friend in a box.” She waited a moment for this to soak in. “If I’m going to cancel my plans, buy roses and travel because of friendship, I’m going to do it while my friend is alive to smell the flowers and enjoy the adventure with me. And if my friend passes before I do, I’ll sit quietly at home and remember the trip we took together.”
Once a year, Sue Williams would treat a friend to a small adventure, a 3 or 4-day trip together to some place interesting. These are the people Sue Williams cares about too much to attend their funerals.
Barb and I have done that. We’ve taken special people on special trips, done crazy things here at home with and for our friends, made unannounced, silly phone calls, uniquely celebrated victories and defeats, and enjoyed every minute. We’ll continue to do that. I even do these kinds of things for Barb, our children, and their families. I’ll continue to do that for family and friends until I die at 110 or beyond.
Stephen Levine puts it in perspective: “If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?”
A part of every day for me is appreciating, thanking, and recognizing how blessed I am to have people like you in my life. So when you get a “balcony” note, an e-mail, flowers, a phone call, a visit, or a trip, just remember you were a part of my personal mission statement on that day.
And these are just my thoughts on a Wednesday morning.
Steve Siemens, CSP
The People Builder