Memo's from Sophia Nicholls, Executive Secretary of ASNA.


Give Flowers When They Can Be Smelt.

Giving flowers when they can be smelt.

I remember the day I first heard this saying, and it brought a smile to my lips and little tear to my eye. It was the 17th May 1992, my wedding day. My grandad got up to make his speech. As he spoke, he had a tear in his eyes. Reflecting on this, I believe maybe a tear of pride to be present at his granddaughter’s wedding. There may have also been some sadness as he remembered his wife who had passed away a few years before.

He raised his glass, turned to the bride and groom, and in a confident voice commissioned us and the invited guests to…. ‘give flowers when they can be smelt….’

Today is a big day for a very special person in my life. My mother (my grandad’s first daughter). She turned 80 today.

She has been a rock in my life from my birth and the birth of my son Matthew. So the flowers I would like to give my mother are as follows:

Mum you are the B.E.S.T.

You are Beautiful in spirit and looks! I am so blessed to be told ‘ what a way you look like your mum’ (to be said in a strong Jamaican accent!). Your spirit of passion go-get -it and commitment are evident in all you do.

When Matthew was born, you retrained to be a visual Impairment teacher! Only one with a beautiful sacrificial character could do this. You also trained to be a special needs teacher. Your love for Matthew and knowledge about his needs were so apparent that I had to learn from you. You taught Matthew to ride a scooter, to use a white cane, to swing himself in the public park and best of all to play the piano.

You also spent 20 years of your life helping to care for him. You committed your life to supporting my husband and I to have respite and time away from the challenges of caring for a son with severe learning difficulties.

You are Energetic! Everything you do, you do with commitment and passion. Matthew learnt to enjoy walking because of your commitment to taking him out during the summer months with his walking frame to pick blackcurrants from the hedgerows in our local village. Your belief in Matthew ensured he had regular exercise and an opportunity to take risks.

Mama, you are Sacrificial. Your retraining to understand Matthew and other children like Matthew has not only helped our family but so many other families. Your training workshops in visual impairment and special educational needs helped so many families during the ASNA residential breaks. Your sacrifice in setting up the British Sign Language (BSL) course during your tenure as the Disability Coordinator in Holloway SDA Church is also testament to your commitment and the sacrifice of your time and talents to the Lord.

I am so blessed to have a Trustworthy parent. One I can go to when the going gets tough, and when I need a word of wisdom and comfort. I am blessed that I can trust you with all my heart.

Mama, you are THE BEST mother in the whole wide world. I know I am bias… you are the only Mother I have and I love you dearly for who you are and what you have done in my life and the life of ASNA!

Thank you mama.

Who do you know needs some flowers today?

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