Daffodils have been abloom in Pacifica this past month. I love this flower — it is so delightful, so innocent, so cheerful and sadly, so short-lived. At the end of January, the green shoots are standing tall. I was excited to see them. I knew the flowers were coming. Seemingly, overnight, the blossoms bloomed. There they were, in their yellow glory. But, now, the stalks are leaning and the flowers are beginning to fade.
Isaiah writes, “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades…” Daffodils as well as all flowers represent the brevity of life. This past year two lives faded from my life, and one life was cut off before it was fully abloom.
My uncle died this past January. He lived a full and active life. His bloom lasted as long as one would expect. He was a teacher who was a perpetual student. His home was filled with thousands of books, a haven for a bookworm like me. His homes were the places where I fell in love with books, and for that I will always be grateful. He traveled, he entertained, and he only slowed down a month before his blossom faded.
My friend’s fiancé died this past week. I did not know him well, but I know my friend, and in many ways I knew him because of the reflection of his life in hers. He brought her so much joy and happiness and through her happiness, I could tell he was a great man, a beautiful flower — a flower that sadly faded too soon.
Finally, yesterday, my family and I (and many others I know) remembered a flower that did not have time to fully bloom or ever fade. He died at 22 just reaching the full, vibrant bloom of youth. He was a beloved son to his mother as well as other women, me included. He was a beloved brother to all my children. Many of them mentioned that Jesse was the only one that knew them. He was like that – he noticed you and he listened to you.
I was an overprotective homeschooling mom in the middle of a divorce when this kid came bounding down the stairs with my boys into my home. I smelled trouble. So I was apprehensive — but this kid’s irrepressible charm and contagious smile won me over. At a time in my life when I felt not only invisible, but defeated, dejected and definitely down in the dumps (I was progressing in my housekeeping, though), Jesse noticed me too, he even called me “sexy” when I felt and I am sure looked quite the opposite. I am still amazed at the capacity and depth of love that not only my children, but their friends have felt for this young man.
Leo Buscaglia wrote: “What love we’ve given, we’ll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity.” We who loved Jesse, Robert and Uncle Bill will always have that. He also wrote about this life: “Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
The daffodils and the Scriptures agree.