Making Your Words Count

Recently I shared that my aunt is dying of stage 4 colon cancer. Since my last post, she’s gotten a lot worse. So much so, that she has 24 hour nursing care now and when I asked my mom, who is so tired,  if she was able to steal away for a little bit of alone time to get a cup of coffee since she has help at the house now, she said she didn’t want to leave her side for that long.

Since the cancer moved to her brain; leaving her right side immobile, my aunt has had trouble forming words. Every day that goes by it has become more difficult for her to talk. So for the most part, she doesn’t.

But my mom said when she is by her bed, fluffing her pillows or rubbing her back, my aunt will put out her left hand and hold my mom’s face and say “love you.”

What a beautiful moment between two sisters during such a painful and sad time. Not there to see it in person, the picture in my mind’s eye alone bring’s tears to my eyes.  And it made me think about how important it is to make your words count.

When we have the energy, time and physical ability to say whatever we want, whenever we want…do we waste our words on negative things?

Or do we neglect to say what really matters to those that matter most to us?

It made me think about what am I wasting my words (and time and energy) on. I’m guilty of getting caught up in gossip or getting angry about things. And even when that anger is justifiable - I don’t always pick my words carefully.

What if I made every word count? I often take for granted that I will always have the time and ability to say what I need to, to those that I care about.

At this point my aunt, no doubt, is choosing her words carefully. This morning, I did too.

Instead of hurrying my kids out the door to school (we are always in a rush in the mornings) when our car pool arrived, I stopped them both…took each of their faces in my hands, looked them directly in their eyes and said “love you”.

The moment was brief but powerful (for me and them). I often tell them I love them, but when I held their face and looked them in the eye I said without words - “pay attention - what’s coming next is very important.”

Just two words. But it’s all I needed to say.

If you were able to say just a few words to someone you care about, what would it be and who would it be to? 


Remember 9/11

We are writing history.

What kind of lessons will future generations learn from the decisions we make today?

Like most people, I woke up this morning remembering where I was eleven years ago today. Just weeks away from my first child’s due date, I watched the horrific events unfold on television with my colleagues at work. I recall feeling panicked…would I be able to properly protect my sweet baby in this world?

Sixteen days later I held Jackson in my arms for the first time and knew that I couldn’t imagine a world without him. And that as his mother, I would do my best to raise him well. I was struck then with the awesome responsibility of being a parent and it hit me again this morning.

During this politically charged season filled with daily debates from those running in the election (and even more from those watching them), I vow to make a difference at home.

Because while I’m not leading a country or even a company, I am raising a family. A job with significant importance. And just like our country’s leaders, the decisions I make today will most certainly have an impact on the future.

Where were you on 9/11?

What decisions are you making today that will last a lifetime?



Summer Afternoon

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Henry James