A REMARKABLE OCCASION
Its arrival on a sunny Saturday afternoon provided a mysterious punctuation to my week-long sick leave sentence. The package was tall and entirely covered in crisp white paper stapled into a kind of steeple shape. I placed it on the kitchen counter. Surprisingly, I paused a long time before touching the wrapper again. I had mixed feelings about that mummied bundle--both gladness at being honored with a gift via courier and sadness at the possible reason that provoked the delivery order.
The point in my life at which this package arrived was one of limbo between recovering from a sports injury to my knee sustained in a wellness promoting exercise program and tying up business before taking a previously announced voluntary retirement from a supervisory position. I had employee tenure just under a quarter of a century. The most frustrating pat of this homebound situation was the inability to engage face-to-face in the relationship closure process with my coworkers. My final few weeks of work were slipping by with me on the sidelines! I experienced this terminal insight in much less time than it took me to record it in this true story.
Meanwhile, I was literally home by the range which was adjacent to someone's best wishes to me. I decided to take charge of the situation, unwrap the package, and deal with the consequences.
I carefully loosened the binding staples and unfolded the paper cacoon. A pompom shaped rainbow of fresh flowers erupted into view. The colors of the petals were brilliant reds, whites, and yellows upon a background of dark green, lacy leaves. Small clusters of deep lavender floral domes were tucked into every possible intervening empty space. It was indeed a glorious statement but from whom and why?
As I removed the attached signature card from its small envelope, a number of issues became crystal clear to me as I read the words "...thinking of you." The senders of the flowers were my coworkers. My intuition about the package had been correct. Both joy and sadness came with the lovely token I had been sent. It was a colorful "Hail and Farewell." On the one hand, the flower arrangement celebrated the staff's esteem for me in our working relationship and their recognition of my unexpected temporary absence on the team. On the other hand, the flowers heralded my fast approaching permanent departure as their team leader. This was the last opportunity for them to exercise their caring prerogative to me as their ailing boss.
All this has been duly noted by yours truly and recorded as my way to say "Thank you" to my staff. This was a remarkable occasion! I received not only the blossoms but also their unspoken concern. It really was a "HOORAY BOOH-QUET"!!