This is story I republish every year when Valentine day approaches. I am hoping one of the friends in this blog will read it and we will reconnect. Helen Stanbrook, I have been searching for you for years.
About a million February’s ago I was making plans for a truly splendid Valentine’s Day. I had recently finished a script for a documentary film. I had been paid extremely well and wanted to celebrate this so romantic day in a special manner.
I thought about the loves of my life. The important people in it. What they meant to me. There were several woman who were close friends but had moved to other cities. Theirs was always the sympathetic ear. The helping hand. The strong, stand by me attitude. But they were no longer in my life. Distance plays havoc with friendships.
I knew that some my friends did not have “significant others” in their lives, and one friend struggled with her marriage. I picked up the phone and ordered a dozen red roses to be sent to each of my four friends. I was very specific about how they were to be delivered. In a long florist box tied with an enormous ribbon. And they were to be delivered the day before Valentine Day’s. I wanted my friends to wake-up on that day to a room fragrant with roses.
I received happy thank-you notes but it was not until three years later did I discover just how much the roses meant to one of my friends . Over the years I saw her steadily gaining weight. By the time she moved away she was more than 100 pounds overweight.
A few years later I received a call from this friend. She was in town briefly. Would I meet her for a drink at her hotel? I arrived early, sipped my wine watching for the friend I had not seen for years. A tall, gorgeous blond woman strode into the room. Heads turned. Admiring glances from men. It was my friend.
This was her story. When she received the roses she knew she had to change her life. She told me that of all her friends I was the only one who never suggested she should loose weight. She said she knew that I expected one day she would do it – when the time was right. She was in an emotionally abusive marriage. On that Valentine’s day she started her program for weight loss. As the pounds dropped away she became stronger and more confident. Her abusive husband, unable to control this new woman, left her. My friend got her life back.
As we travel through life we have no concept of what a simple act of kindness can do. We have a responsibility to care about our fellow man. Perhaps this Valentine’s day one can send roses to their elderly neighbor. Share your planned romantic dinner with your single friends. Send cards telling your friends how important they are to you.
From the bottom of my heart a happy Valentine’s day to all who read my blog.