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When I was growing up, living in a world where being a normal teenager meant having my mom alive, there was always something that caught my attention whenever I walked past the fridge. It was a yellow piece of card, adorned with a couple of magnets, showcasing my mom’s favorite poem. This poem had been there for at least 35 years, but back then, it didn’t hold much significance for me. It was just a nice set of words on the fridge.

Nevertheless, I found myself reading it often. Little did I know that after my mom passed away, this simple piece of card would start to hold so much meaning for me. I carried it with me wherever I went, and whenever I moved to a new place, it found its place on my fridge.

The years went by, and I often wondered about the origin of that poem and what emotions my mom felt when she read it. Then, one day, it vanished. I searched high and low, but eventually, I had to accept that it was gone. Lost. Forgotten.

But fate works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? Last month, as I was sifting through some old paperwork, there it was, tucked away, hidden for almost two decades. When I found it, tears rolled down my face. It was like reconnecting with an old friend. I had spent all that time trying to remember those words. And now, they were here, in front of me once again.

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Let me share this extraordinary poem with you. It’s called “I’d pick daisies…” and was written by Nadine Stair when she was 85 years old. It’s a poem that has the power to change lives. Here it is:

I’d pick daisies…

If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, limber up, and be even sillier than I have been on this journey. Seriously taking very few things. Taking more trips and being a little crazier. Climbing more mountains, swimming in more rivers, and savoring more sunsets.

I would spend more time walking and observing. Eating more ice cream and fewer beans. I would embrace more real troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’ve always lived my life cautiously, sensibly, moment after moment, day after day. Sure, I’ve had my moments, but if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would strive for nothing else but moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day.

I’ve always been that person who never leaves home without carrying a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, aspirin, and a parachute. But if I had the chance to live my life anew, I would go places, do things, and travel lighter than I ever have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start going barefoot earlier in the spring and continue until later in the fall. I would play hooky more often and not worry so much about getting perfect grades. Except by accident, of course. I would ride more merry-go-rounds and take the time to pick more daisies.

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Bravo, Nadine Stair. What a tremendous legacy she has left behind, just like my mom did. Nadine Stair would now be at least 120 years old, and I’m sure she had many lessons to teach us.

I often find myself wondering about the conversations my mom and I could have had as two women discussing life. Sadly, I’ll never know. But instead, I cherish the conversations I have with the beautiful souls in my life.

So, let’s go out there and pick more daisies, my friend. Let’s talk about the big things in life, leaving behind our thermometers, hot water bottles, raincoats, aspirins, and parachutes. Isn’t it exciting to think about the possibilities that await us when we let go of restraint?

With love,

Ali x


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