The Meaning of Your Last Words

Do you remember any last words that you have said to someone? Most likely if you do, you remember them because it was a life-changing moment or one with intense emotions.

Possibly the last words that you said to someone else were during a breakup, the loss of a friendship, maybe even right before the death of a loved one. During everyday life, we may not notice what our last words are to someone, we carry on day in and day out. Sure, we know the importance of words and communication, but we may not place much emphasis on it until something major happens to us.

Choose Your Words Wisely

We know how much of an impact our words have on people, they can truly make or break others. Most likely, when we are in the heat of the moment and arguing with a partner or friend, we are not concerned about saying the wrong things that are hurting the other person, we are caught up in expressing our frustrations. It is afterward, once we have calmed down, that we realize the aftermath. By then, sometimes the damage is done, other times it may be repaired.

Many of us probably remember the last words that we said to someone before a breakup and the loss of a friendship. Those are powerful moments that tend to be etched into our minds. These last words can haunt us for eternity if we don’t allow ourselves to work through it and heal.

On the flip side, our positive words and words of affection and caring stick with someone as well. Even when contact naturally drifts apart, the memories of the person will not fade. People will always remember those who made them smile and lifted them up.

Let Me Tell You a Story

Not too long ago, I wrote a story about living with medical issues. They have changed my life. I also have a new perspective on life because of this, so not all is bad, it is just something that I have to live with. We all have things that we have to live with. No one’s life is anywhere close to perfect!

About 10 years ago, I had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder due to complications from Lyme Disease. I was in the emergency room due to having really bad back pain on my right side and pain underneath my right rib.

The ER doctor did an ultrasound and found a lot of gallstones. I was told that I needed surgery and was given the name of a doctor that would be performing it for me. I called their office, and they got me in the next morning. We will call him Dr. S.

My Doctor’s Visit

I arrived at the doctor’s office the next day. I filled out the new patient paperwork and waited to be called back. A nurse took me to a room not too long after that and took my vitals. I had a fever of 103°. When Dr. S came in, he did an exam and pressed on certain areas of my stomach. He asked in great detail my symptoms and asked many questions.

Dr. S told me that I needed emergency surgery, but that he would have to cut me open instead of doing it laparoscopically and that it could have a death rate of up to 50% due to the degree of the infection and that infection being exposed to my entire abdominal area. Of course, we were not willing to take that risk, so he put me on 9 days of bed rest. I was on about four medications and a very strict diet. I could not eat any sort of fat, because it causes the gallbladder to work harder and mine was infected and had gallstones. I lived off of cereal, skim milk, water, fruits, and vegetables for 9 days. I lost 14 pounds from this diet that I had to be on, it made me so weak.

Nine days later, once the infection was cleared, I was able to have surgery laparoscopically with the normal risks associated with the procedure. Dr. S showed me compassion and kindness the entire way through. He would call me every few days while on bedrest to check on me. He monitored my symptoms and when surgery day came, he was so calming and gave me encouragement and strength. He made a huge difference in my experience.

The Day

Surgery day came and went. Overall, the surgery went well. There were some issues, but nothing major. I followed up with Dr. S shortly after surgery. He showed me pictures of the surgery and let me know what he found. I thanked him tremendously and left thinking that I would never see him again. What a kind soul that touched my life. Little did I know, I would.

About 5 years after my surgery, I started having twinges of pain in my right upper abdominal area. Sometimes, the pain was sharp. I made an appointment to see Dr. S and he ordered an ultrasound to make sure that everything was okay. Thankfully, everything was. He said it isn’t uncommon to have pain for many years on and off in that area due to gallbladder removal.

Thanking him, I left the office and about a month later I received an unexpected phone call from him.

The Call

Dr. S had called to ask if I was doing okay, this is the kind of doctor that he was. A doctor like him is extremely rare. Most doctors will not follow up out of the kindness of their hearts, probably because they simply can’t with the number of patients that they have. Dr. S was in his mid-seventies, so he had a lighter caseload than many. He loved being a doctor and wasn’t ready to retire.

I was surprised, but also so appreciative of the call. I remember telling him at the end of the call that he was one of the most amazing doctors that I have ever had and that he takes great care of his patients. I told him that I could not thank him enough for all that he did for me during a very scary and unknown time in my life. I made sure to pour my heart out as this was most likely going to be the last time that I spoke to him.

Little did I know, it was the last time. About a week later, I received a letter in the mail from the doctor’s office that Dr. S had passed away.

The Importance

I debated on sharing this story, because it is a very sad one, but I decided to because it offers a very important message.

I am so glad that I had the chance to express my heart to this doctor and let him know that he is a good soul who cares for others.

We never know when our last day or someone else’s last day will be. Sometimes we get caught up in the “now” that we forget this. When anger takes ahold of us, may we find strength to speak from a place of understanding. This way we can live with peace in our hearts.

Our words impact others more than we can ever imagine.


Have A Conversation

Spring has arrived. The weather has been up and down as usual for spring. We had a really warm day a few days ago and I took my kids outside to play. Nature is amazing and so healing, we spend as much time outside as possible.

My neighbor who we will call, Jenny, was out with her children as well and we got them together to play for a while. As they played, we talked. Jenny is an incredibly kind soul and a very genuine person. I feel so blessed that we are neighbors. Our children are all very young and close in age, which makes for a lot of fun.

Some other parents may know how challenging it can be raising little ones. It is an absolute joy, but it comes with its challenges for sure. Jenny and I can openly communicate our feelings and concerns about motherhood or certain childhood behaviors and situations.

We Aren’t Alone

It’s always refreshing to talk to her because I don’t feel so alone. It melts the stress away by realizing that we and many others are in this together and doing the best that we can. Had I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself, I may have not gotten the chance to realize that all that I am experiencing and going through is “normal.” I don’t like that term too much because I don’t think there is such a thing, it’s a very broad spectrum. My main point in all of this is that we can see that we aren’t alone in this life journey.


Have you ever had the feeling that you are so different from everyone? Maybe you feel like no one can relate to you, or that no one truly understands where you’re coming from and who you are.

Have you ever noticed how this can be wrong? Having conversations with others can really be very eye-opening. We realize that we are not alone. There are other people that think the way that we do, and there are other people that have gone through what we have.

Sure, we are all on a different journeys with unique struggles, but we are all human and we can relate to each other if given the chance. There have been things that I don’t want to bring up out of fear of being “alone,” but when someone else brings it up, it’s like “wow!” I cannot believe that this happened to you also. It’s also important to note that being alone is not necessarily a bad thing. We are all unique in our own ways, but we find comfort knowing that others can relate to us.

We are more alike than we are different. We all have different sides of us and experiences. Sometimes we may feel ashamed or embarrassed, and we don’t want to talk about certain things, but opening up and being vulnerable can really take a lot of stress off of us if we can find connections with others.

Take the Compliment

What is your first response when someone compliments you? Do you take it and say, “thank you?”, shrug it off, or maybe you are like me, and you’re truly grateful for it, but you negate it. Why would one negate it? It is because the receiver may not always believe the compliment to be true. This can be detrimental!

When someone compliments us, most of the time they are being honest and genuine. Most people will not take the time to compliment someone just for kicks. There was something that they felt was special about you and they wanted to let you know. Compliments are a great way to break the ice and bond with another person. We all love to hear a good word about ourselves, it makes us feel great inside.


Try to imagine yourself in the following scenario. Picture yourself as both the giver and the receiver of the compliment:

Mark: “I really love your writing; you are very talented.”

Travis: “Thank you, but it’s nothing special, I am really just an average writer.”

I can only speculate about how others feel but given that I have been in this situation on both sides, I know how I felt. Mark is happy to express his love for Travis’ writing, but Travis responds to his compliment by saying that he’s just average. Mark may feel like his feelings have been shot down, or that Travis disagrees with him. Travis may be happy on the inside after hearing the compliment, but he is not letting it build him up, he doesn’t own the compliment and take a moment to make him feel boosted and happy! Both most likely walk away feeling disconnected.

It is hard to take a compliment if we don’t believe it, but if we practice accepting compliments and the kind words that others give us, it can really positively impact us and others. 

Imagine yourself in this scenario now as both the commenter and receiver:

Shelley: “You work really well under pressure; I truly admire that about you.”

Christina: “Oh, thank you so much! That makes me happy, I try hard to stay focused and relaxed.”

Shelley has given a nice and motivating compliment to Christina who graciously accepts! Shelley is feeling so happy that she could positively impact Christina by sharing her feelings and Christina is happy and feeling boosted that her efforts are paying off. Both walk away feeling happy and bonded.

The Mirror Lies

What we see in the mirror isn’t what everyone else sees. We often don’t see ourselves in a bright light like everyone else sees us. We see flaws and failure; they see strength and confidence. I love compliments, I think that most of us do. I don’t always believe the compliment being made about myself, but I am trying very hard not to negate it. I try to own it, to embrace it, to let it bring me and someone else joy.

The next time that you are given a compliment, try to embrace it if you don’t already, and see where that takes you. I am willing to bet that it will leave you feeling confident and lifted!

I Was So Embarrassed

Many years ago, while still in college, I had an experience that taught me some valuable things about life.

At the time, going through this experience was incredibly embarrassing, but looking back on it many years later, I have a different perspective. Not only am I human, but I also learned from this mistake.

Here’s the Story 

I was fresh out of high school and trying to get used to college life. I was at home and commuted to college, so I never got the experience of going away to school. There are both positives and negatives to this as with many things in life.

I was still debating on the major that I wanted to pursue, so I took many different classes to find my calling. I was drawn to several subjects including English and Journalism and I found an immense passion for Psychology. My heart and soul were wrapped around Psychology. I loved learning about others and the world around me. Through that, I also learned about myself.

One Day

I was headed to a Psychology class one day. It was a warm summer day, I sat down, and the professor started the day as usual. I got out my books and my notebook to take notes. The lecture came and went. At the end of the class, my professor handed back a graded paper that we had completed several weeks back.

I looked down at my graded paper in disbelief. There was a big red “F” staring me in the face. As I flipped through each page. I could see comments made by the professor in red. I was in shock. I had spent hours on this paper. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. Not only disappointed, but I was also confused. What did I do wrong?

My Mind was Flooded

I remember walking the long path to my car that afternoon, my thoughts stuck on why this paper that I worked so hard on received an “F.” To me, an F would mean that a student didn’t do the project at all, but somehow, I put hours into my paper and still received one.

I got to my car and pulled the paper out of my backpack. I stared it over one more time, maybe I saw the grade wrong? No…it was a very visible F with comments to boot. Some of you may know how much weight a paper holds in college and the importance of keeping your GPA at a certain point to graduate. Tears welled up in my eyes, I started crying and out of frustration I ripped my paper into large pieces. I was around the age of 19 then, that is no excuse, but I have matured a lot since then and I would never do something like this today!

I drove home feeling confused and defeated. My emotions were heavy. I remember putting the windows down and blasting my music to release the stress. My commute to college and back home was about an hour. Once I got home, I had a good meal and then decided that I needed to reach out to my professor and find out why my paper did so poorly.

The E-mail

Later that night, I compose an e-mail to my professor stating that I had worked really hard on my paper and that I wanted to know the reasoning behind the grade that I was given. To my surprise, she wrote back rather quickly and told me to come by the next day so that we could talk about it. I felt relieved until I read one of the lines…”Please bring your paper with you so that we can discuss it.”

My heart started racing, my professor wanted me to bring my paper with me…the one that I had just torn to shreds. I started to think of a way to get around this embarrassing situation. I quickly thought that I could just print another copy off, there we go! Then I realized that her comments were written all over it and what would we discuss?

Moments later, I realized that there wasn’t a way around this, and I got my paper together, or what was left of it, and I started taping the pieces together. It felt a bit like doing a puzzle. Fortunately, the paper looked decent enough for us to be able to look it over. To say that I was stressing about my talk with her the next day is an understatement.

The Next Day

I remember feeling incredibly nervous about my meeting with the professor. I walked in with a smirk on my face that ended up turning into a smile. Before I even brought the paper out of my bag, I informed her that out of frustration I ripped my paper, but that I taped it back together. She started to chuckle and to my surprise, she told me that I wouldn’t believe it, but that this was not the first nor second time that someone has brought a ripped paper to her before!

I was relieved at this, but still highly embarrassed. We sat down together, and she went over each section and how and why she graded it the way that she did. All of the red marks were given a great explanation. She then turned to me and asked me to share my side, she wanted to know how I arrived at the conclusion that I did. I cannot remember the question that she asked us to address because I am now in my late 30s, but I explained to her what my thought process was.

After we talked, I was surprised and happy that my professor was able to see the reasoning behind my answer and interpretation. She gave me a second chance to redo the paper in the way that she meant. I went home and worked hard on my paper, turned it in, and received a good grade! There are several life lessons that I learned from this experience.

Life Lessons

  1. People will view things in life in very different ways, it does not make one right or wrong. We all have had different experiences in life and therefore we see the world very differently.
  2.  Frustration and anger will always be present in our lives, but it is up to us to try to remain as calm as possible and address the situation at hand.
  3.  We will all have embarrassing moments in life, we are only human, and we can take these as learning experiences.
  4.  Sometimes in life, we are given a second chance to make things right and we should be thankful and treat it as a golden opportunity.

The Takeaway

This incredibly embarrassing college experience really opened my eyes and reminded me of how much I have matured and how life teaches us many lessons about ourselves and the world around us.

We all will have moments that we are not proud of, but if we can learn from them and keep pressing forward, wisdom is sure to follow!

A Coworker’s Comment Changed My Life

We know how powerful words are. They stick with us for many years if not for a lifetime. Good or bad, they often stay etched in our minds.

Sometimes people don’t realize how important their words are to others. They don’t realize the difference that they are making.

An Observation 

When I was in my early twenties, I was very extroverted, unlike today. I wanted to talk with anyone and everyone. I enjoyed learning about others, sharing stories, and helping other people.

I spent much of my day asking others how they were doing, supporting others, offering advice, or lending a hand. To me, it was just because it was in my nature, but a coworker of mine made a comment to me one day that truly changed my life. She said, “I noticed that you always seem to be extending your energy outwards.”

I still remember these words plain as day. I was taken aback by the comment, and I didn’t quite know what she meant, but when I realized that she was right, my world changed.


I have always been the anxious type and to get rid of some of the nervous energy, I sometimes became a chatterbox or would keep “searching” for something or someone that could bring me peace. All of the energy projected outwards was a way to try to discover myself, as I was feeling lost and out of place. I was searching in the wrong area, I needed to turn that energy inward.

I naturally love to care for other people, but I was doing it in a way that never allowed me to get in touch with myself. I tried to find myself in others and I was never found.

I took these words to heart thinking that my coworker was onto something and sure enough, she was.


I was still me; I still had a huge passion for the people in my life, but I learned to balance all of this energy. I made sure to have energy for those that I loved and energy for me.

I started taking great steps to allow myself to feel more stable and centered. I took long walks in nature, did meditation, painted, and did arts and crafts. I enjoyed writing, cooking, photography, and I practiced mindfulness.

I became aware and in tune with myself. I made sure to check in with myself and how I was feeling from time to time. I paid attention to the breath that flowed in and out of my body. Instead of feeling constantly depleted, there was energy for others as well as myself. It was like an awakening, and I owed it all to my coworker.


We hold the power to change our own lives and each other’s lives. Words are so powerful, listening is also powerful, as is being open to receive and incorporate such words.

I still think about these words today. My coworker made my life so much easier by simply noticing and sharing an observation.