DON’T WAIT UNTIL I’M GONE
Give me my flowers while I can smell them,
Hear my stories while I can tell them,
Sing my praises, so I can hear ’em,
Give me my medals, so I can wear ’em,
Don’t wait until the day I’m gone,
To put me upon a throne,
Give me my propers while I’m still around,
Don’t wait till I’m ’neath the ground,
Let me live my history,
Please don’t let me be a mystery,
Don’t give it to me and take it right back,
So if I’m such a jolly good fellow,
Let me know that I’m now mellow,
Now is when I need a friend,
To show me love before the end,
So don’t wait until I’m gone,
Listen to my song.
---From Notes by Aaron Nevillle
I first came across a poem like this in a funeral many years ago. It struck me as odd that at funerals, many people would write wonderful tributes to the dead, whereas when they were alive, they rarely heard such kind words.I determined there and then that I would learn to appreciate people I care about and regularly let them know how much they mean to me. What’s the point of writing amazing tributes to the dead when they can’t see it?
As a Nigerian, I must admit that most of us find it difficult to express our emotions openly. You will rarely hear a parent say “I love you” to their child. We often know our parents love us because of the things they do for us. In the same way, our parents know we respect them by the way we treat them. But wouldn’t it be great for them to know exactly how much we admired them? Wouldn’t it be great for your dad or mom to know that you appreciate all they have done for you, and you will always see them as your role models?
As human beings, we all sometimes wonder if we are doing enough as parents, as spouses, as friends, as kids, etc. We all wonder if our children, spouse, friends, parents, are pleased with us. It is reassuring to be told that yes, we are doing an amazing job. It doesn’t cost anything, but the rewards are profound!
Yes it may be a bit awkward to say it, especially if you have never done that. It might be easier to send a text or leave a handwritten note or even an email. However way you want to do it, please do it as soon as you can. Let the person you care about know how much you care about him/her. Don’t wait till their next birthday, or on your anniversary, or when they come over. Remember life is fickle; you never knows what the next minute might bring. Don’t wait till they are dead to write eloquent tributes that mean nothing to them. Do it now and bring joy to their hearts.
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