Words Matter

I have been going through unusual trials recently. My husband, Michael is very ill. There have been several people that have sent notes either by text, email, or snail mail, that have warmed my heart and have caused me to feel cared about and yes, loved.

There have been comments made to me as many as sixty years ago that had negative meanings and I remember those with complete clarity. “You’d be prettier if you didn’t have one eyebrow across your nose” or “Those yellow knee socks are so bright. Maybe if you wash them several times they’ll fade.” At these times, I ask myself why anyone would say these things to another when they are so hurtful. The only thing I can think of is that words must not hold much meaning or emotion for them.

I fell in love with my husband after many conversations filled with comforting and sensitive words about who I was to him and what I meant to him. We would walk the beach in Northern California and share our thoughts, hopes, and dreams. These conversations were signs of love to me and to him.

When my mother lived with us, there were many times when she said lovely things to me about my family and our time together. These words made me feel physically warm inside.

My Uncle Lloyd used to be kind of off the wall, but he never failed to tell me loving things about how he felt about me and I instantly knew that he loved me.

I also feel loved by beings that can’t speak words out loud and yet they communicate love to me with a lick on my hand, a chin resting on my knee or a warm look with kind and loving eyes. I feel loved by our dog, Quincy and I value this every day.

Words are our greatest tool, in my opinion, to show others how we feel about them. Often, people do not take this notion seriously enough because they say hurtful things without thinking.

I have a warm, close, and loving family. We show love to each other every day through words, actions, and time spent together. My sister, Sandy and her entire family have my back and never hesitate to pitch in when I need help or to include me in their fun times.

Our son, Matt has the talent of picking meaningful cards for birthdays and holidays. Then, he puts the frosting on the cake by personalizing the cards with his own words expressing his feelings. There is no question about his love for us and his gratefulness for who we are. We also talk by phone and text almost every day. Words can’t describe how deeply we value these efforts.

I would encourage all of us to remember the importance of the words we say to others and to each other. Equally important are the words we say about ourselves to ourselves. Words matter. We all have a choice about the words we use and the things we say to one another.

Call me too sensitive, and I’ll tell you that it is my greatest strength and my highest vulnerability. I have become better at keeping myself safe and I still appreciate the kind words.

Update: As of the posting of this writing, we are saddened to share that Michael Goodson has passed away. (September 4, 1943 – April 4, 2023)

Who is Judy

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