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‘Pin on those flowers’

Angie’s Column 7-28-04

The years since my husband and I first returned to the area seem to have flown by. Can it be possible the same children with whom I danced and sang silly songs, the youngsters I once taught how to draw the Easter bunny, are now in high school and college?

I’m amazed how often I see the engagement and wedding announcements of my former French students in the newspaper these days.

On one hand, this all makes me feel terribly middle-aged; on the other hand, it causes me to reflect on the many lives that have touched mine.

One of the sayings I remember from my growing-up years here in Butler County was,

&uot;Don’t wait to pin my flowers on ’til I’m dead and gone.&uot; I don’t hear it as much these days but it is still just as true.

Each of us needs to let others know we appreciate, value and love them while the opportunity is there for the taking.

When we’re young, we pretty much perceive ourselves as being immortal; oh, we know, in the backs of our minds, one day, we will &uot;shuffle off this mortal coil&uot;

– but surely that day is a long, long way off.

So it seems there is always time later to mend a broken friendship, repair a fractured family; plenty of time, surely, to express appreciation to the kindly neighbor who served as &uot;the bridge that carried us across&uot; or to the teacher who switched on the &uot;light bulb&uot; of learning in our minds.

But people move to new schools, new towns and new jobs. In spite of our best intentions, we lose touch with dear friends. It happens.

Sometimes, however, the divisions come about for the most foolish and base reasons.

There were two sisters who bickered and argued and harangued away at one another over a household’s furnishings. The battle took place only hours after their mother’s funeral.

The feud continued; the two women simply stopped talking to each other.

Months later, one of them was stricken with cancer, died and was buried before her sibling even knew about it.

I know those sisters had love for one another, but greed, stubborn pride and selfishness

destroyed their chance to mend their fences before it was simply too late.

Those women were my cousins.

I still feel a shudder down my spine when I recall their story.

So, go ahead and &uot;pin those flowers&uot; of love, admiration, gratitude and respect on your daily heroes and heroines. Watch them bask in the glow.

Angie Long is a Lifestyles writer and columnist for The Greenville Advocate. She may be contacted at home by phone at 382-5145 or (best bet!) by e-mail at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com