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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

Have you ever heard of the Daffodil Principle? I’d almost be surprised if you hadn’t. Just for fun I did a quick internet search for just those words and came up with 165,000 results. The Daffodil Principle is a way of looking at our lives and goals. It helps us see what we can accomplish with just two hands and two feet. It helps us see the beauty of what we do accomplish every day. I love daffodils and I love the principle behind this message.

I was first introduced to the Daffodil Principle in its smaller form as a sweet chapter in Sister Edward’s book Celebration! As a young mother, it was one of the few resources I read that actually made me feel good about where I was on my journey of life and my ability to do just exactly what the Lord needed me to do. I picked it up at the bookstore in a moment of discouragement thinking, “If a woman with 12 children can find ways to celebrate every day, I want to know her secret.” Truthfully, the two children I had at the time seemed very overwhelming, sometimes depressing. The children themselves were sometimes sweet, but often sticky and stinky. I was aghast that Heavenly Father didn’t have enough sense to say, “That woman should never have children.” Celebration! Helped me understand I was wrong. Not just about the children, but also about myself. I began to understand my own place in a field of daffodils and figure out how to plant my own bulbs of joy along the way. I didn’t suddenly plant 50,000 bulbs but I did begin to plant. When it’s all said and done I hope I can look back on my life and see that I’ve left a trail of beauty and color instead of dirt and thorns.

Several years ago, that simple chapter was transformed into a beautiful gift book of its own. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, its message has been extensively shared and has touched many lives since it was first introduce in 1995. Because of her words, the actual daffodil garden has gained attention and inspired pilgrimages for many others to see such a wonderful site. The next time you visit southern California you can visit the garden that inspired this timeless message.

Today I’m honoring the loss of the author of The Daffodil Principle. Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards passed away Friday, May 30, 2008 at the age of 76. Her funeral was held the last Monday. If you haven’t yet, you can read her sweet obituary here.

I can not say that I knew this great woman personally, but it certainly felt like she knew me. Or at least she had that special kind of spirit that lets Heavenly Father speak through them to share how He knows and loves others. For that, she has been influential in my life and many others.

I don’t live where I could have attended her funeral, but this week I’ll plant another row of daffodils bulbs and think of her.

Return to the Neighborhood


Candace E. Salima said...

Wow, Alison. That was an honorable tribute to a marvelous woman. Thank you for sharing.

Kim Dramer said...

I had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Edwards on a sweet day in (I believe) 1979. I interviewed her in her lovely Connecticut home for a local newspaper. She was, indeed, the sort of woman who had a special spirit allowing her to somehow know other people's hearts. Years later, overwhelmed by the birth of twins and the pressures of graduate school, I sent her a note. She remembered me. She encouraged me. Her words saw me through a troubling time. I still have her lovely note. Learning today of her death, I will re-read it seeking to reconnect with such a splendid example of compassion, caring and sincerity.
Kim Dramer, NYC

Chloe Romero said...

Thank you Alison this sweet tribute means so much to me. Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards is my grandmother. She somehow made each one of her 75+ grandchildren feel individually loved and cared for. It is such a joy to see how she was able to touch the lives of so many others outside of our family as well.