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“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy.  They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom” – Proust

Today’s quote was in a card we got from the family of one our kid’s schoolmates.  This family lost their mother this past summer after a 6 year battle with breast cancer.  She was only 39.  This means she was only 33 when diagnosed and by then it was too late.  They say women she start getting yearly mammograms around ages 35-40.  They should start getting them earlier than that.  And even then mammograms aren’t always helpful.

The card hit me particularly hard.  It was sent from the father and the two sons.  When I think how close I was to that being me I just couldn’t focus all weekend.  I just can’t imagine what it is like to be a young father and having to raise two children on my own.  I remember when I would go the funerals of the fathers of my friends and cousins I would cry for them and for me.  I knew it would hurt the day I lost my own dad.  When it did happen to me I wasn’t able to cry.  it came out slowly over several years.  Now every time I see a parent die prematurely I will cry for those children, but when it happens to me I obviously won’t be able to cry.

This morning I had an early morning meeting with a potential partner.  When the meeting started the San Francisco weather was its usual overacast and fog.  When I came out it was beautifully sunny.  After dropping my colleagues at the airport I was hungry.  Of course in these recession times I figured some dim sum from San Francisco’s Clement St. would make a nice cheap lunch and I’d see if my wife could meet me at home since it was on the way back.  I remember those old movies when the husband would come home for lunch.  I knew she was lonely at home and I just needed to see her.  You don’t get to do this often.  This past weekend we went on our first real night out since her surgery.  Of course all we did on our first night without the kids was talk about the kids and go grocery shopping.

This time although it was just a 25 minute lunch, it seemed more special since it was spontaneous.  We felt like we were stealing time together after all these years.  it does take moments like this that help you to smell the roses.  We didn’t have to say to each other how nice it was to eat a lunch together on a Monday.  It was just understood. 

More moments like this are needed in our daily lives.  Smelling the Roses opens the senses, makes you smile, and reminds you why you give the maximum effort each day.  We should all try to be a chraming gardener to make the souls of others blossom in their moment of need.