”>redrose I have to admit that I had a few friends growing up, but one of my best friends was my grandpa and my aunt. My grandpa was my best bud. We went fishing together, hiking, watermelon eating, we just had a good time together. I remember my grandpa saying in a conversation to someone ‘give me my flowers when I am alive to enjoy them’. I forget the context of the conversation, but those words stuck in my mind. I had to think what he meant by that statement…’give me my flowers when I am alive to enjoy them’. Of course he was saying that he wanted to spend time with everyone and receive the gift of time while he was alive to enjoy those moments. I have learned that those moments I spent with my grandpa have become threads that have interwoven into the fabric of my character. I learned alot about life from him and came to fully understand the statement. I tried to spend as much time with my best buddy while I could. When I bought a gift, it was the best I could afford. When we spent time together, I cherished every moment. He even had a way of telling me what I had done wrong in a way that was not condescending. My grandpa had truly woven his character into mine.

I was a pallbearer at his funeral. His funeral was both sad and happy as it was a celebration of his life, and he had truly lived a life worthy of celebrating. As everyone filed by to say their goodbyes and toss in a rose onto the casket, I did not. I kept that rose and notably did not toss it in. A few people seemed put out that I refused to toss in the rose and asked me why I had not. My only response was ‘I gave him his flowers while he was alive to enjoy them’. Some may not have understood, but I felt it would have been an insult to his memory had I thrown in a flower that he could not enjoy.

That was another one of life’s lessons. To those people that have meaning in your life, give them the gift of your ‘presence’ not necessarily a gift of ‘presents’. Allow those moments to weave into the tapestry of your character. In that way, they truly never die. And when others weave you into their tapestry, everything and everyone you share with them also enjoy a prolonged life as those moments, dreams, experiences and thoughts weave into the tapestry of their character.

As human animals, our time is limited on this earth. We have a beginning and an end. We are on a vacation on this earth and it would be a shame to not add your character into your loved ones lives. So when it comes to your funeral, someone can look back and say ‘I gave them their flowers while they were alive to enjoy them’.

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