Would you buy a bunch of flowers for a friend?
Well, I did just that the other day. Not in the conventional sense though. Not where you have a friend who you think needs cheering up/rewarding or whatever, so you buy them a bunch of flowers. No. Not like that at all. In fact I think I may have done it the other way around. I bought a bunch of flowers and gave them to a total stranger who, since that encounter, has started turning into a friend!
During Advent last year, I decided that I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of having presents or chocolate everyday for 24 days, I decided to turn the tables. Each day in the run up to Christmas, I gave something to a total stranger or did a random act of kindness for someone. The experience made a real impact on me. So, when it came to Lent and giving things up in the run up to Easter, I again thought I would reverse the approach.
The gift of giving
And so it was that on Friday 8th March (International Women’s Day) I found myself in Cathedral Square in Peterborough, with a bunch of flowers in my hand to give to a random person who I saw. What it was about Carole (as I now know her!) which drew me to her, I am not sure. But of all the people on the square that day, I chose her to be the recipient of that day’s gesture.
And what a deserving recipient I chose! Carole is founder of Anna’s Hope charity, set up in memory of her daughter Anna who tragically died from a brain tumour aged just 3 years and 8 months. As a well-known figure in the City, it was hard to believe that we were meeting for the first time under these circumstances!
Carole was on her way to the International Women’s Day celebrations in Peterborough Cathedral, and had to then cart her bunch of tulips with her the whole time! Thankfully, someone captured the moment which Carole then posted on Facebook as she was so touched by the act.
Something very special happened to me today .. a random act of kindness ❤️as I walked to the cathedral I was as given some lovely flowers by a total stranger . ? Thank you ?
People never cease to amaze me !!
#IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter @CCWomensSector.Carole, Hughes
Founder, Anna's Hope
Since that first encounter, we have met for a proper chat over cake, and it really does seem as though we were destined to do so! I am not sure how yet, but in some form, sometime soon, I know I will be doing a lot more for Anna’s Hope and their inspirational founder.
So, the phrase ‘buying a bunch of flowers for a friend’ has taken on a whole new meaning for me! Thank you Carole, for being there that day, and for whatever comes as a result of it…