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“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind."

- Henri Frederick Amiel

Grandma Minnie never had much. She grew up poor and learned early the art of survival. A very hard working woman, she was naturally drawn to her opposite, Grandpa Floyd, who had the personality of a grasshopper. A lighthearted man, he loved to play pranks on people and play the banjo, making up his own lyrics to replace the ones that actually went with the melody he was playing.

Grandma Minnie did not approve of Grandpa’s “frivolous ways,” as she called them, and she told him so often. She did her best to keep him in line, but the minute she was out of sight, he would be up to his old tricks again. He just loved to make everyone laugh and all the grandchildren adored him.

Grandma Minnie’s house always smelled like roses. Her yard was like an oasis in the barrenness of dry and dusty West Texas. Through an ad in the Clarendon newspaper, she sold the fruit and berries she grew, and she even managed to grow a small grape vineyard. Grandpa grew a patch of vegetables. He would cart his vegetables to town every day right before dinner time and sell them fresh off the back of his wagon.

Grandma knew everyone in town and delighted in gifting others with sprays of her beautiful roses for every occasion. Like a bright bouquet of smiles, she shared her roses along with love and get well prayers with many an ill friend. They became petals of comfort and the sweet scent of solace to those grieving lost loved ones, handfuls of encouragement for those who seemed down.

Grandma Minnie loved brightening another’s day. She loved to comfort those who hurt or lift the spirits of those who were sorrowful. She was a cheerful woman and she spread love and comfort to others

everywhere she went. Grandpa Floyd followed behind her with the gift of laughter.

My Aunt Ruth loves to cook, and she is the first to arrive with a homemade casserole when someone is ill or has passed away. My cousin Rhonda writes beautiful notes of encouragement and encloses hand written prayers.

We can all brighten the day of another with whatever our gift is whether it is speech, music, writing, gardening or crafts. Everyone has some gift of the heart to share with others and when we share what we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we find why it is said it is truly better to give than

to receive.

For years Grandma Minnie brightened the lives of others with her hand-picked bouquets. Her strong willed ways brightened Grandpa’s life, too, until she passed away in June of 1950. He was never quite the same without Grandma. Sometimes at night he would walk through their old house, still talking to her as if she were there. She was buried within sight of their back porch. Grandpa would sometimes stand out on the back porch looking towards her resting place, his eyes filled with tears. “I miss her,” he would say. In January of 1953, he went home to join her.

The roses live on, a parting gift to the world from Grandma Minnie. Every year, they come back like bright smiles to remind those who loved her that we can all add joy to another’s world in some small way with whatever we have to give.

"The sweetest flower that blows, I give you as we part. For you it is a rose, for me it is my heart." - Frederick Peterson 1859-1938

Excerpted from Sidewalk Flowers, Vol. 1

Copyright © Glynda Lomax

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