Healing Old Wounds
Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
As we approach Memorial Day weekend and many are thinking about picnics in the park, I’m thinking about the beautiful Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupre, Belgium. It is an amazingly beautiful place with 15 full time grounds keepers to make sure it is a place whose beauty will always honor those brave Americans killed in WWII who rest there.
Over this Memorial Day weekend, I invite you to reflect on those who have given their lives for our country in wars over the years and to feel grateful. And, if you’d like to know more about Truman Roberts and see the Ardennes American Cemetery, read this earlier Memorial Day post.
I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.
While my book focuses on creating happy moments, we all know that life isn’t always happy. On Sunday, I received the following story from one of my oldest and dearest friends. We were young together fifty years ago and I remember that he and his dad had some tough times. Remembering that made this story seem all the more wonderful and reminded me again that there can be love and redemption as long as there’s life.
I’ll print his story just as he wrote it and hope you find it as tender, loving and inspiring as I did.
“Both my parents are past, but I remember my dad in his final days as being pretty depressed. He was blind, hard of hearing and on oxygen continuously. I would come and see him in his little apartment and just sit with him and hold his hand. His face was chiseled in pain and fear. No sense talking, he couldn’t hear. No sense bringing pictures or a movie he couldn’t see. Couldn’t go for a walk, he was tethered to his oxygen machine. But, holding his hand was possible and even though my dad was one of the older generation and didn’t care to show emotion; tears often came to his eyes. In those final moments the little things became precious. Compassion, empathy, affection, sweet soothing moments are burned into my memory of my father’s final days. “
Please send me your stories so I can share them with others.
Bring Joy and Be Well
In a work meeting on Friday, a colleague I haven’t seen for several months put his arms around me and said, “Trudy, you changed my life!”
He reminded me that we had talked just before Christmas when he was on his way to visit his mom and dad in Florida. When he told me he was apprehensive about the visit I took the opportunity to tell him about the magic of Marshall Goldsmith’s great question and suggested he just try asking “How can I be a better son?”
When we met on Friday, he only had time to tell me the question worked its magic and that it had changed his life. Then we had work to do so I didn’t hear the rest of the story. I asked if he could tell me more details and I got the e-mail below the next day.
This is also an amazing question for any relationship! I’ve gotten amazing and heartwarming results and responses from friends, teammates, sibs, ETC. They say that the powerful listening that asking it triggers is so rare in anybody these days. I promise them when I ask the question, that all I will say is “thank you” (nothing else) so they don’t think they have to defend, etc. Works beautifully!
I was happy to hear Bob’s story. And it’s only the latest in a string of similar heart-warming stories which all start with a good question and end with the realization that just a little effort can change everything!
Please share your stories with me so I can share them with others.
Be well and bring joy.
When I tell people about my book, Make Mom Happy by Mail, and the idea of making someone happy just by keeping their mailbox filled with interesting things, I get one of several predictable reactions. Usually it brings a smile and almost a forehead slap of realization that they too could do this simple thing to make someone they love happy. Then we go into some of the fun things they could send and their smile just gets bigger and bigger. Sometimes I loan them that first stamp to get started because I always have a supply of stamps in my wallet.
But sometimes, it brings a frown instead of a smile when they think about a troubled relationship and wonder if there’s anything in this idea for them. That happened just this weekend when I saw an old friend at an open house. “But what if they don’t want to hear from you? The last time I called my aunt, she just went back to the old hurts” she said. Then she told me how much she’d love to have a relationship with her aunt. “Being in her kitchen was just like being in my mother’s kitchen. It even smelled the same. I’d just love to be able to visit her and talk about my mom and their growing up days.” My friend told me.
The conversation reminded me of how often old hurts can linger for years and spoil what could be loving times between relatives. I remember when my mom and her sister were estranged for several years and missed so many happy times – times that were lost forever. I hoped this wouldn’t happen to my friend.
After we talked for a bit, she decided to try a gentle approach to her aunt without expecting anything in return. Since she knew a phone call didn’t work the last time, she would try something different this time. “I’ll just send her a card and a note. Then I’ll send a picture and a note. I’ll just reach out and see what happens and I’ll let you know.” She said. And her frown began turn into a smile. Perhaps she could just see herself a year from now having a cup of coffee in her aunt’s kitchen talking about the old times.
Please share your stories so I can share them with others.
Be well and bring joy.