I've often asked myself: 'Why do we wait for people to die to give them their flowers and tell them all the great things they mean't to us, when they're not present to hear it?'
Then the COVID-19 pandemic came along and reiterated that life is SO unpredictable and we don't always have as much TIME as we think we do.
This behaviour is illogical and we must do better to show our love and appreciation for the ones we love while we can.
I've grown up in a family where I have experienced transcendental love daily, so naturally I love LOVE, I love to LOVE others, I love to receive LOVE and I love letting others know how much they are LOVED... which is probably why my exes end up staying my friends, even sometimes years after we've broken up.... because even they realise the way I LOVE is a WHOLE other level!
The last year has proven that life really is short and that ANYTHING can happen. A week before my birthday my cat was killed in a hit and run, my Nan was diagnosed with stomach cancer and my parents cars were broken into and ransacked... that's just half of things that went wrong.
For this reason I have no more TIME to waste!
For my birthday this year, I wanted to let my friends know they are the SH*T and for whatever reason and season they are in my life, deserves to be recognised and celebrated.
I'll never forget when Tyler Perry used a tree analogy to break down friendships in one of his Madea plays. He said something along the lines of (this is my remixed version)... 'Friendships are like a tree, you have your LEAVES - the seasonal people and associates who come and go with the wind. Then you have your BRANCHES - be careful now, because they'll confuse you, one minute you think they're stable and then suddenly, they'll SNAP and fall without warning. Then, there's the ROOTS - these are the friends you can count on your one hand, they're not going anywhere. They're in your life to keep you anchored and to hold you down through every season come fall, rain, snow or sunshine. You don't see them on display like the leaves and branches but they're in your corner, in the dirt, in the dark places, in the most important part of the tree - the trunk, soaking up all the water and minerals the tree needs to stay alive, healthy and stable. You can't survive without these roots SIS!'
No person is an island and we were never created to walk this journey called life on our own. So friends are important, QUALITY friends are imperative and as I once heard, maintaining these 'relationships are like military missions, they require strategy, foresight and effort.'
On Saturday 16 October I gathered my friends from longtime childhood friends to career friends who came from all over the UK, to celebrate my 28th birthday with me at the Park Regis Hotel Birmingham. I called the event 'Tee Cee's Flower's and Friends Afternoon Tea Party'
This wasn't just any, ordinary event. Yes, it was my birthday but it was all about my FRIENDS! I wanted to take this time to thank them all individually for their friendship and give them their flowers.
IT'S ALL IN THE DETAIL DARLINGS...
Theme colours: Hot pink, light pink, white
I curated a special playlist for the day, each person had a specific song that was connected to a memory or reminder of our friendship. The song titles were also written on all my guests name cards on their tables.
I also made a slideshow with pictures of me and my friends from over the years which played on loop on a big TV screen during the event.
The gift bags were decorated with customised printed 'Tee Cee's Par-Tea stickers' and pink bows. Inside was pink tissue paper, two tea light candles, a tea light candle holder, popcorn, green tea, a sweet parcel and a hand-written thank you card with a personalised message for each guest and a friendship quote.
I chose afternoon tea, because I LOVE IT and funnily enough a lot of my friends have never had afternoon tea before. Plus it made a change from the usual restaurant setting!
Kudos to my family who dressed the function room at the Park Regis hotel on the day. It looked exquisite. The afternoon tea was served as a beautiful colourful banquet and my friends came to show OUT in white!
WATCH FULL VLOG:
After food, Smash Entertainz a personal friend as well as popular comedian hailing from Birmingham came to grace us with some light entertainment and games including 'Growing up Afro-Caribbean' bingo and a design challenge utilising whatever random items were in a plastic bag.
Flowers & Friends presentation
For the main event of the event, I made a personal speech for each of my friends and presented them with a rose to thank them for their friendship. There were tears, smiles and a lot of HEART.
This was one of my BEST birthday's EVER. I have the most amazing people in my life and to see my friends in one room at the same time and share this moment was absolutely MAGICAL.
'I wish that we could have this moment for life.'
There is no RIGHT time to tell people you love them or what they mean to you, just tell them. Better now than late or never.
Pree these pics though... DIVINE!
Kudos to you if you made it to the end... THE END!
Until next time...
Tee Cee x