I’ve had this idea brewing. A passion stirring, and I’ve been trying to ignore it. Unfortunately I’m trying to learn this whole boldness thing, and it’s really getting in the way of me hiding under a rock. I’ve been writing about pushing yourself, taking chances, being real, honest, raw, vulnerable…and now that I’m writing about those things, it is a lot harder to justify not living them. It’s quite frustrating.
If you’ve followed our journey at all, you know how significant poppies have become to us, because of our little girl, Ayden Nicole, who is now in heaven (if you haven’t followed our story at all, you can start by reading here). If you were at Ayden’s Picnic, there’s a good chance you have a poppy on your refrigerator, with this note attached:
The day we found out we were being blessed with our first child, she was simply the size of a poppy seed, bringing forth what we began calling her – Poppyseed. This nickname stuck, even as she continued to grow. After we found out about her diagnosis, poppies became a significant symbol, reminding us of her precious life, and of the overwhelming love we have for her. It is our hope and prayer that these poppies may act as a reminder of the importance, significance, and power of love.
Ayden Nicole has wrecked our hears in ways we never thought imaginable. She has taught us more about love than we ever thought possible. She has made us want to be better people; to speak kinder words, to be more positive, to love deeper, to act with greater kindness, and show more compassion. She has humbled us more than we ever cared for, and changed our outlook on life in ways only the innocence of an unborn child whose life is unjustly cut short can do. She has changed us, forever. There is no doubt, we will never be the same.
Thank you for helping us celebrate our precious Ayden,
Nathan and Bethany
Every time I see I poppy, I think of Ayden. I’m not the only one, either. My parents have a garden full of poppies, in honor of Ayden. Most of my siblings have poppies planted in her honor. Friends and family all over the place send me pictures when their poppies bloom, letting me know they are thinking of our sweet girl.
Poppies are a symbol of the legacy that Ayden left on our hearts, and they act as a constant reminder of the beauty despite the pain. They are a reminder of all the good things.
They are a reminder of the power of love and kindness.
Poppies begin to bloom in May, which means they are in full bloom for Ayden’s birthday. It is the most beautiful thing. And perfect timing in order to bring my very heavy heart some much needed respite during the time surrounding her birthday. Poppies have become an incredible and impactful gift to my heart.
I believe Ayden’s purpose is not over yet. And her legacy will continue to impact people far more than I can imagine.
I’ve had this idea on my heart for almost a year now, and it’s time for me to stop making excuses to push it aside.
I’ve had this idea for a Picking Poppies movement.
A reminder to show love and kindness, to ourselves and to others.
A day of intention.
I chose the term “Picking Poppies” because of a play on words.
There are two ways to define”picking” as a verb:
take hold of and remove (a flower, fruit, or vegetable) from where it is growing.OR
choose (someone or something) from a number of alternatives, typically after careful thought.
If we pick the second definition, we are choosing poppies.
In this context, “poppies” is symbolic for the legacy Ayden continues to leave. The legacy of love, kindness, selflessness, compassion, everything we mentioned in Remembering Ayden (above).
Picking Poppies become Choosing Love and Kindness.
Every month, on the anniversary of the day she was born, I want to encourage everyone to focus on Picking Poppies. To live a day with intention, going out of our way to show love and kindness to others.
A day to intentionally choose love and kindness.
One day every month for Picking Poppies.
That’s not crazy, is it?
So what does this look like?
It’s simple, really. You can do anything at all to go out of your way to be loving and kind to someone. It is simply a day to live with intention and choose love. To choose kindness.
Here are some ideas:
- Write a kind/encouraging note
- Cook/bake for someone you wouldn’t normally cook for
- Say something kind to a stranger (you never know how impactful this can be)
- Give someone flowers
- Any random (or not random) act of kindness
You certainly don’t have to participate in this, but here is another portion that would mean the world to this momma’s heart.
- Add a temporary profile on your Facebook account – a picture of a poppy. You can even use one of the images featured in this post if you want. This acts as just another reminder of living with intention for the day.
- Write down what you did, and share it with me. You can do this via Facebook, a comment on the blog post, or submit it anonymously through the Contact Me page.
- Share a story of love or kindness. Maybe someone showed you love and kindness. Maybe you saw someone being kind to someone else. Share the story. The more we teach ourselves to look for these sightings, the more we will realize we are surrounded by them.
I ask to hear your stories because it makes me happy to see love and kindness being spread. And it makes me very happy to know of my little Ayden’s legacy continuing to impact people.
I also want to hear these stories so I can share them. Too much negativity gets shared these days – why not spread a little more love and kindness around the world?
I know there are many of you who will participate anonymously in this, which is very humble. But would you consider anonymously sending me a story of love or kindness, so I can help spread it? Promise not to give you any unwanted attention or recognition.
I just really believe in spreading this as much as possible. I believe the world needs more of this.
This is what Picking Poppies will look like for me:
- On the 22nd of every month, I will commit to Picking Poppies (living intentionally, showing love and kindness)
- I will change my Facebook profile picture to a picture of a poppy
- I will publish a Picking Poppies post on the 22nd of every month, as a reminder to Pick Poppies. This post will also be full of stories of people being loving and kind to each other. This post will be published in the Ayden Nicole Facebook Page, the All the Passion Strings Facebook page, and on this blog (enter your email in the Subscribe section to get an email when publish these posts).
- I will eagerly read the stories you share with me of love and kindness
Will you join me?
Will you participate in Picking Poppies? On the 22nd of every month, will you join with us and help spread love and kindness a little more?
I can’t wait to see Facebook flooded with poppies, and I can’t wait to read your stories of showing and receiving love and kindness.
Thank you all for continuing to be part of Ayden’s story, and for continuing to remember her with us.
Please leave your stories in the comments below so we can continue to spread love and kindness.
Thank you for Picking Poppies.
Please feel free to use any of the images in the gallery below!