A few years ago, we went to a party for our friend John.
It was supposed to be John’s “going away” party but it certainly wasn’t your typical going away party.
It was much more than that.
You see, John wasn’t moving to Florida or Arizona where so many people who’ve had a good life go to live out their days.
John was really going away–as in dying of two or three kinds of cancer and the doctors had given him less than two months (maybe less) to live.
When our friend Mark heard the news, he called John and asked him if he could see him.
John said that because he was still able to physically move around, talk just fine and was not in a great deal of physical pain, he would not only like to see Mark but also a few others who were special to him.
So it was our privilege to be invited to that lovely gathering in honor of John and what he means to all of us.
This party was our chance to be with John, love him and connect with him once more (hopefully not the last time).
When we were at the party, Otto was reminded of something his father used to say quite often…
He would hear of someone not doing very well physically or maybe he would be in a reflective mood after someone he knew or cared about had died and he would remind us…
“I want my flowers while I’m living…”
“Flowers” in this context is just another way of saying love and kindness.
You see, Otto’s dad, like our friend John, wanted love and connection with those he loved while he was living and not wait until he was no longer in form.
We think this is actually great relationship advice and here’s why…
At the beginning of our relationship, because there’s a 16 year age difference between the two of us, we became fearful of that age gap and what it might mean down the road.
We wanted to be together for as many years as possible and we thought that since Susie was so much older, our time together would be much shorter.
Our relationship advice…
Well of course that’s irrational because none of us knows how long we have on this earth anyway but here’s what we learned…
We learned to love and appreciate each other (as well as the people we care about) in many different ways in every moment.
We’ve practiced giving “flowers” while the person is in body instead of waiting until it may be too late.
It can be something as simple as a phone call or text to say “I love you and am thinking about you” or it can be just being kind and understanding when things aren’t going so well for him or her–or when they are.
It can mean not jumping to conclusions but finding out more.
What this has done for the two of us is deepen an already “deep,” loving relationship and it can have that effect in your life as well.
Who do you need to send “flowers” of love and appreciation to that you haven’t gotten around to doing yet?
What relationship would be enriched if you were to re-connect instead of making excuses that you’re “too busy”?
There are so many ways to send “flowers” to someone and we urge you to just do it when the thought occurs to you.
Whether it’s your spouse, partner, friend, relative or even a stranger…
Take Otto’s father’s relationship advice and send your love and appreciation while the person can enjoy it.
Your life and love will be so enriched if you do!