A man who gave a sunflower to a tearful stranger in a coffee shop has told of how the simple act has changed both of their lives.
Danny Wakefield, who lives in Seattle, had originally purchased the sunflower for someone he was “smitten with”, but decided he didn’t want to come off too strong.
Not wanting to waste the sunflower, he gifted it to someone else in a random display of kindness. Little did he know that the woman he gave it to had lost her fiancé, who had always bought her sunflowers, just a week before.
Wakefield said that, through him, this woman’s fiancé was able to pass her a message of love and strength.
Writing on the Love What Matters Facebook page, the 30-year-old said the event had left him “shaken, awaken and feeling raw”.
“You never know how much a simple gesture of giving someone a $5 flower will change their life, as well as yours,” he added.
The heartwarming exchange took place in Wakefield’s local coffee shop.
“I grabbed the flower on my way out this morning with the intention to give it to someone on my way to work so it didn’t die alone. What happened next has left me changed in ways I don’t even have words for yet,” Wakefield wrote.
“While I was sitting and drinking my morning joe at the coffee shop (which I typically take to go), I saw a woman reading something with tears quietly and quickly sliding down her pale face.
“It was like there was a magnet in the sunflower that was being drawn to her, because I knew in that moment she was who I was going to give the sunflower to; she was who I had to give it to.”
He went over to her table and explained that he had originally bought the sunflower for someone special, but the person he had in mind “didn’t work out”. He told the woman: “But I can feel that you’re special too, so I want you to have it.”
Recalling the event on Facebook, he wrote: “Before I could even hand her the sunflower, this complete stranger flew into my arms with tears flowing, and gratitude spewing, as if I was someone she once loved, and lost. It’s what she said next that I’m still trying to grip.”
The woman was crying because her fiancé had died the week before, just months before they were due to get married.
On their first date, her fiancé had bought her a sunflower and from then on, he only ever bought her sunflowers, never roses, because “she was the light of his life”.
“Today, through me, he was able to show her that she’ll always be the light of his life and how we as humans have a message to carry that goes far beyond words,” Wakefield explained.
“I’m shaken, awaken and feeling raw. You never know how much a simple gesture of giving someone a $5 flower will change their life, as well as yours.
“Life is about giving and being of service to others. I challenge you all to find a way to make someone else’s life just a little bit brighter today and be of service. You never know the impact you could have.”
Unsurprisingly, the impactful post has been shared more than 50,000 times.
Wakefield has urged others to light up someone else’s day with a sunflower and share the act of kindness using #SunflowerChallenge.
He wrote on his personal Facebook page: “Spreading love in this world could not only change lives, but save them.”