A Happy and Thankful Life



kind words

There are times when people will say hurtful things. When you are grieving, this feels like a guarantee. In my monthly group, I’ve heard of people being asked, “do you miss him?”. Are you serious? This person lost their spouse and you are asking if you miss them? Should she ask, “do you have a soul?”. For the most part, there are good intentions. They don’t realize how hurtful, whether intentional or not, their words are. I’m grateful that I’ve had few such interactions.

Today, I had some unexpected kind words. One came from someone J and I interacted with at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She has been our main contact and would email me to check on us from time to time. One thing that our local LLS chapter does for Light the Night is a Memory and Honor Garden. I submitted J’s name, leukemia type, diagnosis date and also a sentence about him. I tried to post the goals he accomplished that year. These goals helped get him through the harder times. His first goal was to get healthy enough to see a Yankees game  in the old stadium the summer after his diagnosis. Then it was to see a game in the new stadium, raise money for LLS, get married, graduate undergrad….there were many more but he was able to accomplish the ones that he was actively working towards.

Today, I stopped by to pick up my walk shirt and was able to chat with her for a few minutes. She repeated what she had emailed me a few weeks ago. I can’t do justice to her words, but this is what she wrote and said again today:  I am glad though that you and John were able to do so many things that you wanted to do, even while he was sick. I always loved your goals for the year. They always made me emotional and so inspired! That meant a lot to me. J wanted to make a positive impact but didn’t believe he really had. As feisty and challenging as he could purposely be, he had a big heart. Far bigger and patient than mine at times. I wish he knew that he did have a positive impact on others. Her words today made me cry but it was a good cry. She interacts with so many people who are going through what is likely one of the worst periods of their lives. I’m grateful that she took the time to talk with me and say such kind words.

After leaving the LLS office, I received some very sweet encouragement regarding this blog. I still say that she gives me far more credit than I deserve. I know this is not my best writing and this is not going to be the place you visit for sunshine and rainbows. But it is honest. And that is what I’m striving for. I hope that come across.

For today, if anything, I hope that you think a bit more of the words that you say and the conversations you have. I’m often very grateful for these kind words. But it is also a reminder to be more thoughtful and purposeful in what I choose to say. We have such power with our words. Be careful with this power that you wield.

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