Monday, December 10, 2012

The "Fall" Basket

We’ve all been there when hardship finds one of our friends. Unsure of what to do and how to help, we fumble around for the right words and the appropriate acts of kindness. Does our friend want us to acknowledge their situation or is the pain too fresh? Do they want us to bring it up or just ignore the obvious elephant in the room? Lots of questions, no concrete answers.

A few years ago, I myself, went through a hard break-up where I found myself on the receiving end of my friends’ good intentions. Knowing I couldn’t muster up the strength to get through a conversation without crying, I sent out an email alerting those I cared for about the situation but also telling them I wasn’t ready to talk about it. My girlfriends respected my request, but also knew they had to do something to show me how much they cared.

The following week, one of my clients and friends came into the shop with a large basket of candles, coasters and potpourri. When I asked what it was she replied: “Oh, it’s just a fall basket for you.” I gratefully accepted the gift and didn’t think much about it until another person came in with a set of notepads for me. Once again, the reason for her kindness was the fall season. Throughout the week, about a dozen or so people came in to bring me some form or another of a “fall basket.”

What was this long-standing tradition I had somehow missed? How could I have lived here for so long and not known about these “fall baskets?” It took me a while, but eventually, I caught on: those beautiful “fall baskets” were my friends’ way of nonchalantly showing me they cared. Without making a fuss, or bringing up painful memories, they did what good friends do: gave me unconditional love and support. And during those dark days, their simple acts of kindness and those “fall baskets” made all the difference in the world to me.

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