Editorials by Robert Kirwan
Is More Important Than Time Spent With Another Human Being…
other day I was typing an article on my computer when I was interrupted by
the sound of someone speaking a language which I must admit I am beginning
to understand. It was my 15-month old granddaughter tugging at my shirt
wanting me to play with her. I stopped what I was doing and immediately
became immersed in a game of “take the cans out of the box and put the
cans back inside the box”, all the while engaging in an intriguing
mystical dialogue with this beautiful little human being.
though I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her, I was also feeling a bit sad
as I recalled times when I was too busy to put aside the things I was
doing in the past to spend time with my own sons or my wife when they
wanted my attention. How often in the past did I say that I was too busy
to play or to talk or just to look at something that my own children
wanted me to see.
of that changed many years ago when I came across the following story. We
can simply call it “The Flower”.
was a particularly stressful day for Judy. She was late getting home from
the office and had to finish preparing dinner so that she could rush off
to her night class. Judy was at the stove when she felt a tug on her pant
leg and could hear the voice of her little daughter, Jennifer. “Mommy.
now, honey. Mommy is too busy,” replied Judy without taking her eyes off
of the pot on the stove.
Mommy,” pleaded Jennifer.
Judy turned to go to the fridge, she almost tripped over Jennifer, and
angrily pushed the little girl out of the way. “ I don’t have time,
Jennifer. Go and play and stay out of the kitchen.”
that night, Judy returned home from her night class and was straightening
up the kitchen when she noticed something bright on the floor between the
cupboard and the stove. She crouched down to pick it up and found a little
flower taped to a piece of paper. On the paper were the words, “I Love
You Mommy”. Jennifer crumpled to the floor and sat there with her back
to the stove, crying for a full ten minutes. She realized that all her
daughter wanted to do was give her this little expression of her love. All
she wanted were a few seconds of her mother’s time. And all she got was
an angry shove and some very harsh words. How awful she must have felt.
composing herself, Judy stood up, and went quietly to Jennifer’s room,
where she say her beautiful little girl’s face on the pillow. Even
though her daughter was fast asleep and it was very late, Judy knelt
beside the bed and gently woke Jennifer up. As Jennifer opened her sleepy
eyes and looked at her mother, Judy held up the flower and said, “Thank
you for the flower, honey. It is the most beautiful gift I have every
sleepy eyes widened and her face beamed with a smile that brightened up
the dimly lit room as she replied happily, “I picked it just for you and
wrote the note all by myself. I Love You, Mommy.” And with that Jennifer
gave her mother a great big hug.
the tears began to flow, Judy crawled into bed beside her daughter and
began to stroke her hair, “I promise, Jennifer. I will never again be
too busy to spend time with you. I Love You, Jennifer.” Judy continued
to hold her daughter tightly until she was once again sound asleep.
I read that simple little story I realized that there is nothing in life
that is more important than spending quality time with other people,
especially children who depend upon you for support and guidance. I truly
believe that when another person, regardless of who they are or what their
age, wants to speak to you or be with you, it is the greatest compliment
you can receive. They are telling you that at this precise moment in time,
you are the most important person in their life. You are the one they want
to be with and the one they want to talk to. When another individual is
going to place you in such high regard, how can you possibly not show
respect and gratitude by giving that person the attention he or she is
are many days when my “paper work” piles up or when I have to put off
cleaning up the yard. But ever since reading that story I am never too
busy to drop what I am doing when a person calls on the phone, stops by to
talk to me, or drops in for a visit.
the next time someone interrupts what you are doing, before brushing him
or her off, ask yourself if the thing you are doing can wait just a little
while longer. You may just realize that what you are doing will still be
there tomorrow, but those precious moments you have with that special
person today will soon be gone forever.
a good week!