Don’t Wait Until They’re Gone to Start Claiming Them

WARNING:  Rant mode.  No bars hold.

Don’t wait until I’m dead and gone to be buying me no flowers.  Give me my flowers now while I can still see and smell them.

My mother has been saying those words for as long as I can remember.  I guess I never had to worry about it because I always gave her a handful of flowers, even if I did pick them out of someone’s yard while walking home from school!  She talked to me about that but I kept doing it anyway.  I also gave her flowers, including dandelions (you thought they were pretty, yellow flowers too), from our own yard.  My kids are 14 and 10 and they still give me dandelions, I mean flowers!

I am just now realizing that my mother was referring to more than just flowers.

When my brother passed away back in July, all kinds of folks came out of the woodwork claiming he was their friend, homeboy, and how they had love for him.  But not one of those so-called friends visited my brother once he was rendered non-ambulatory the last few years of his life.  Not even a phone call or snail mail.

My mother is not just talking about flowers, about how she does not want anyone to wait until she is dead to buy flowers for her grave.  She wants visitors at her home while she is still alive.  Call her on the phone and say hello.  She does not want anyone to wait until her funeral to give that little 2-minute talk about how nice she was and how much she was loved because she won’t be able to hear any of it.

I am not on a certain social media site often, but I wanted to read an important notification I had received.  When the site pulled up on my phone, my brother’s obituary was staring me in the face.  I started sweating and my heart dropped to the floor.  His complete obituary was posted on social media.  That shocked the hell out of me because at that time, I hadn’t even seen the obituary in its entirety yet.

I wanted to yell, “WHAT THE FU*K, but I couldn’t because I was in my son’s hospital room (admitted 2 days after my brother’s death).  Why post an obituary and say a lot of good stuff for the world to see on your social media page when you didn’t even call or visit?  Someone posted that he had planned to visit my brother on a certain day.  Yeah right.  The day mentioned was the day AFTER he died.  Put a lid on it.  Where were you while he was on the ventilator (life support) the last 1 1/2 months of his life?

My sister attended a funeral a couple weeks before our brother’s.  A man sat two rows behind her and loudly talked to someone about how he visited the deceased when he was alive in the hospital and at home.  He said while at the hospital he asked the man if he remembered him and he said yes.

That was a lie.  My sister was the caregiver of the deceased.  She said the man had gotten very ill and had stopped talking.  So there was no way a verbal conversation was held in that hospital room.  She also described the so-called friend to the owner of the deceased’s home because she didn’t recognize him.  The owner said no one fit that description had visited the home.

You can’t pay a visit or phone call, but you can run your mouth on social media and out in public.  This type of behavior is not only attention-seeking, it is also disrespectful.

I don’t care who you are and where you are.  You can live next-door to Santa Claus at the North Pole for all I care.  DO NOT wait until a person leave this world to start claiming your love for him or her.  Do it now while your voice can be heard, your smile can be seen, and flowers can be smelled.

This blog post is not just for so-called friends, it is for family members as well.

As I step down from my soapbox, I would like to give everyone reading this blog post a flower.  You are a great person and I appreciate you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read my blog.

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