A Child and a Flower

The little town where we lived outside of Augusta, Georgia was very small.  There was an Elementary school, a flower shop, a bank, a minute market and a family owned restaurant and, of course, many churches. We knew just about everyone in the community, and everyone knew our youngest son. He was a friendly child, with whitish, blonde hair, who was always zipping around the neighborhood on his red bicycle. First thing every morning during the summer he would get dressed and off he would go for his morning ride. In his travels he often stopped and talked with our neighbors.

The little town where we lived outside of Augusta, Georgia was very small.  There was an Elementary school, a flower shop, a bank, a minute market and a family owned restaurant and, of course, many churches. We knew just about everyone in the community, and everyone knew our youngest son. He was a friendly child, with whitish, blonde hair, who...One morning after he had been on his bike for a while, he came in and asked for a dollar to go to the flower shop, which was about a block away from our house.  He often went with me when I would stop and buy some seasonal flowers for the table.  We could buy a bouquet for only a dollar. I figured he was going to buy some for me, so I waited for him to come home with his hand full of daisies-my favorites.

After a little while, I saw him peddling towards the house, but instead of stopping, he dashed right on by without even glancing my way.  In his hand was a beautiful Shasta daisy. I wondered where he was going, and I watched as he parked his bicycle in our neighbor's yard down the street. We didn't know them very well.  They were an older couple who kept pretty much to themselves. When he came home, he told me he had taken the flower to our neighbor. “That was sweet,” I told him, “but what made you think of that?” “I heard someone say their son had died,” he said, “so I thought I would take a flower to them.”

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Later, I talked with the neighbors, and they told me that it was their son's birthday.  He had died the year before. It was a painful day for them.  They were sitting in their living room grieving when they heard a little knock. They opened the door, and Jay was standing there holding the beautiful daisy in his hand. He said, “I'm sorry that your son died.” The neighbor told us it was the most encouraging thing they had felt in a while.  They said it felt like their son comforting them.

I was fascinated that my 6-year-old son would think of something so important on his own. But it isn't surprising that children can often demonstrate to us the kindest ways to comfort others. When people are hurting we often think we have to offer them advice on how to get on with their lives or do something big to let them know we care. But a child with a flower and a caring heart is sometimes all they need.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more