I was recently asked to speak at a dear friend’s funeral. As I was thinking about the 40+ years I knew her and what she meant to me, I realized she shaped much of who I am today. I was just 26 when we met, she was 37. I was a young mom and my oldest child was the age of her youngest son.
As I talked to her family and friends gathered around her grave, I told them how she had impacted my life. I viewed her more like a mom than a friend and learned so much from her. Did I ever tell her those things? Even the few times I visited her in the hospital after her first stroke and then later a couple of visits while she was in rehab, I failed to tell her how much she meant to me. We talked about old times and laughed about her late husband and his comical way of expressing his thoughts when meeting us for the first time. But I never verbalized the details of my admiration and respect for her. I am sorry about that.
This experience has led me to realize that it is important to tell people when you have good, uplifting or encouraging thoughts about them. We never know the pain or sadness a person may be experiencing and that a kind word we speak might change the trajectory of their day. I have decided to be more intentional as I interact with everyone with whom I come in contact with each day. I challenge you to do the same. Who knows how powerful that may be to someone.