It was a funny day in the office.
First of all William from the Ambassador Restaurant arrived with gifts after returning from a holiday. He brought us a “Fuzion” scroll and a little oriental tea pot – he went to a lot of thought and bother. It was incredible to see a client thinking about us in that way.
Later Ken Buckley from Buckley Fine Art arrived with chocolates and an impressive bouquet of flowers – it was a thank you because he felt he really got a lot from the PR training course that we ran and wanted to show his appreciation …wow, what a day of kind gestures!
As it turned out we had to go to Killarney for a few days working on a few different projects – I asked mum could I pop the flowers that Ken had brought up to Gran Ellen who was staying in the Bons Secours Nursing Home on the Lee Road. Gran was funny about flowers (someone else always deserved them more than she did) and she hadn’t been well recently so I wasn’t sure if she was up to accepting them or even a visit.
Mum reckoned she would appreciate them and it would be ok to visit as long as we didn’t stay too long.
On the way out of town we popped into the nursing home to see Gran – she brightened up when she saw us and she immediately insisted that one of the nurses brought a vase for the beautiful flowers. In the end it took two vases and Gran Ellen wanted the curtains pulled open wide so that she could see them in full glory on the window sill.
We had a quick chat with her. Visiting Gran was always special – she was always bright and in good form and you always left her feeling better than when you came in.
A few days later during a meeting with William from the Ambassador restaurant my mum called to say Gran had slipped away (I’m glad it was William I was with – great guy).
When we went to see Gran Ellen laid out peacefully the flowers were still in full colour adding life to the room.
If Ken from the Buckley Fine Art Gallery hadn’t brought us those flowers I wouldn’t have got to see Gran Ellen that last time – I sent him a message on Facebook about what a huge gesture the flowers turned out to be.
Many months later my mum called to say that some money had been left to her and her brothers and sisters from Gran’s estate and she insisted on giving me, my sister and brother an amount from this.
As always, mum insisted and we thought long and hard about what to do with this money. We wanted to do something special with it, something that would always remind us of Gran Ellen.
“How about buying some art?” We would have it forever and it could be passed onto the next generation.
On a cold winters day with snow on the ground Dee, my daughter Ellen (it would be hers eventually!) and yours truly headed to town and picked out a beautiful painting with a real nostalgic feeling to it by Cork artist Brian Smyth that now hangs in a special place over our fireplace.
Everyone who visits is told the story about a great woman and how a kind gesture can come back to you further down the line – guess where we bought the painting?
Gran, we miss you and Ken …Thanks for the flowers
Ken Buckley has an art gallery in Kinsale, County Cork – The Gallery Kinsale