Why is it that we can send a man to the moon and come up with cures for various illnesses? That we can constantly be making new discoveries in complex technology, but…we that have so much trouble with one simple thing!
Why is it that in this world where almost anything is possible, there are those who find it so hard to display the simple courtesies of respect and kindness. Displaying those courtesies to everyone, no matter how different they may be from you!
Once again we have had a senseless killing of innocent lives. A senseless killing because of one person deciding they can’t tolerate those who are different from him. My heart goes out to the victim’s of yesterday’s mass shooting in a synagogue. I have struggled with what to say, because there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient words for the horror of what hate does to people.
A post that I over a year ago came to my mind and I am going to re-post it here. It’s just a simple story of kindness and friendship. A simple story, because after all, showing kindness and respect to others is not rocket science!
The Language of Flowers
Jenny took off on her bike once again to go deliver some flowers of Happiness. Her Mom watched her out the kitchen window, she was so proud of her daughter. Jenny had a special love for flowers. She always made sure to have some in her room. She would also use her own money to buy her Mom a fresh bouquet of flowers every week to have them sitting on their table. Jenny said how the sight and pleasant scent of flowers made her heart happy and she wanted to spread the joy to her Mom.
Recently she had started delivering flowers to the neighbors. Once again using her own money. She started with the neighbors on her street but she started adding the streets from the development behind her. Jenny told her Mom how she loved to see the smiles that would come across the faces of the people when they would receive them.
She laughed as she told her Mom that even sour Mr.McGregor was starting to give a faint smile. At least he wasn’t shouting at her anymore to not walk on his grass. In fact Jenny noticed that he was sitting on his front porch more regularly lately. One time Jenny said how nice it was to see him waiting for her. He just grunted, but again she saw the trace of a smile. His sour expression and grunts used to scare her, but not anymore.
Little Billy would come running when Jenny would ride into his driveway. He would always raise his arms up for her to pick him up. He would smile big as he clutched a flower in his chubby little fingers to give to his Mom. He knew not to put them in his mouth anymore. Renee, his Mom, started coming out with cookies and lemonade when Jenny came. They would sit on the porch as Billy would beg for Jenny to play with him some.
Hazel was a older widow and she often told Jenny how a visit from her was the highlight of her week. Her husband had bought her flowers a lot when he was living. Jenny enjoyed talking with her, she enjoyed hearing stories from her past and of how things used to be. Hazel usually had little nuggets of wisdom to pass on to her. Jenny tried to make Hazel’s visit be the last one, so that she would have plenty of time to talk to her.
There was another house that Jenny longed to stop at, but her parents told her not to. Jenny really didn’t understand why. Her parents didn’t really give a reason besides the fact that they said those people in that house were “different”.. “Different”? Jenny wasn’t sure what to think about that. It spiked her curiosity though. What was so “different’ about them, she had to know.
One day she had an idea. She ran up to the front door, laid some flowers down, pushed the doorbell and biked away as fast as she could. It worked! She got away and no harm came to her. The next week she tried it again. Jenny decided that as long as she never had to face them it would be fine to continue it and so she did.
Jenny asked Hazel one day about a sign that she had put in her yard. It said, “No matter where you are from, we are glad that you are our neighbor.” Hazel explained that it meant she welcomed everyone as a neighbor. Jenny got real quiet and then looked up at Hazel and said, “But what about that house down the street, aren’t you afraid of them? My parents say they are different!”
Hazel sighed and got a sad look in her eyes. “They are just like you and me Jenny. They have hearts that can be happy and that can break. They may speak a different language and come from a different land, but they know the power of a smile! Sadly people are afraid of things they don’t understand. If they would only know the joy that they are missing out on by not opening their heart and mind. Jenny put her head down and said softly, ” I wish I could meet them someday but my parents keep telling me to stay away.” Hazel took Jenny’s hand and gave it a squeeze and they just sat there in silence for a little feeling the gentle breeze.
Jenny’s Mom was inconsolable, the time was growing shorter and the Doctor’s faces were getting graver. Hope had been so strong at first, but it was getting hard to keep holding onto it. Jenny’s Dad held his face in his hands, he just didn’t understand. How could this have happened. One minute Jenny is delivering flowers of happiness and the next she is fighting a life and death battle, due to having been hit by a speeding driver.
Jenny needed a blood transfusion but she had a rare blood type and they were having trouble finding donors. Time was running short and Jenny was unconscious not knowing how her parents hearts ached. Suddenly the Dr. burst into Jenny’s room. “We got a donor! ” Jenny’s parents embraced as their hearts soared! Tears were falling as they watched their precious daughter be wheeled out of the room.
Three days later Jenny was doing a lot better. The Dr has said she should be ready to go home in a couple more days. Her Mom was sitting in her room talking to Jenny when the Dr came in. “Dr. Kline Jenny and I were talking, would it be possible to meet the one who donated blood for her, we really would like to thank them.” Dr.Kline smiled and said he would see what he could do.
The next morning Jenny was finishing her breakfast as Dr. Kline walked in. ” Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer, I was able to locate the person who donated blood to Jenny.” Jenny clapped her hands and her parents were all smiles. Dr. Kline stepped out the door for a minute and then stepped back in and said, “Please meet Roshana!” Jenny’s parents gasped! It was the new neighbor! The “different” neighbor. They couldn’t speak. Jenny though eagerly reached out her hand and squeezed Roshana’s hand as she said, ” Thank you so very much!!”
Roshana took her hand, and smiled. She then pulled from behind her back a bouquet of flowers for Jenny. Her parents watched as tears filled their eyes.
When Jenny came home from the hospital there were two signs to greet her in the front yard. One welcoming her home and the other sign welcoming ALL their neighbors to the neighborhood.