My husband and I were on a cross-country journey recently along a beautiful path of pines and wooded areas in the Midwest. About every 20-40 yards we would see splashes of white blooms on the trees—they were Dogwood trees. It was a sign to me that spring is here. This type of tree is seen as a symbol of rebirth, new life, and hope for many around the world. It is also the state tree of my home state of Missouri, chosen in 1955 due to the beauty of its blossoms. We planted many of these trees in and around our buildings and cemetery over the years and frequently heard from our community how much they appreciated their beauty.
In April we are traditionally in the middle of the holy season for Christians and Passover for those of the Jewish faith. It is a time of celebration and hope. People from these religious communities honor this holiday by attending their various church and synagogue services, as well as spending time with family and friends to share meals.
In the springtime, many in our country are experiencing devastating tornados and snowstorms that are taking lives and destroying homes and businesses. I don’t know if any of these have affected you or your company, but if so, we are thinking of you. Please let us know how we may support you.
The month of April is a time of reflection and remembrance in our family, as the 11th is the anniversary of my dad’s death. He died suddenly at 53 on his birthday, at a funeral service convention in 1987. I recall that Easter was the following weekend and how hard it was to return to church or to gather for a meal with family and friends so soon after he died. What I remember the most, however, was the support and kindness of our funeral team as they walked by our side that week and in the months to come. They gave us hope during a difficult time, that everything was going to be alright.
As a leader in your community, know that the hope you give to those you serve is one of the important gifts that you bring to mourners. As you serve them during their sad and devastating times, walking by their side and giving them hope is something that they will remember always.
For this first month of spring, when you see a dogwood blooming, I hope you feel you are like this beautiful tree, a most important symbol of hope to the families in your community.
Have a blessed holiday,