Keep Communication Channels Open
Words have power in matters of life and death, and those who love them will savor their fruit. Proverbs 18:21 Voice
One of the last conversations with my late husband, Bill, was filled with tension as he gasped for breath. I was upset and angry that he really didn't want to go to the doctor to get it checked out. Looking back on it we were both afraid. I regret that our last conversation was not full of loving words as he told me how he really felt. I won the argument and we got good news and bad news. The good news is that he qualified to get a ventilator so he could get the oxygen he needed. The bad news was that he was put on a ventilator so he could no longer speak as he had to keep the C-Pap mask on full-time. The good news was that it had several filters that allowed him to continue hanging out with our beloved grandsons. The bad news is that we were unable to hear his voice ever again because he did not have enough air to make a sound. The vocal chords were in good shape. What had happened is that his diaphragm failed.
A few weeks before Bill moved to Heaven, our oldest daughter came to see him. I was gone and so she was unable to get in the house because she forgot her key. She sat on the porch and yelled at him through the window. He responded by texting on her cell phone. When you can no longer speak then use whatever means you have to still communicate and speak honoring words.
Our other daughter had the custom of telling Dad she loved him every time she said good-bye. She usually said, "I love you to the moon and back." He also used a white board to communicate and therefore wrote, "I love you to Pluto and back."
"Dad, Pluto isn't even a planet anymore," she chided him.
"I know, sweetie," he replied. "But it is the furthest away from the earth."
To this day, we still say "I love you Pluto and back," every time we say good-bye.
Speak honoring words
Your words are important. Speak positive, honoring words every opportunity that you get. If you are tempted to say unkind words, say nothing. Words establish an atmosphere and change the course of lives.
Develop special code words
There are times that you may need a hug or for someone to be quiet for a few minutes. The code in our family was to pull on your ear (like when you are playing charades). Just as soon as you pull on your ear the other person says, "Sounds like...." The response to that "silence." Sometimes we would forget what they meant and would start laughing as they kept tugging on their ear lobe. This little code actually helped us put out many potential firestorms in our family as we laughed together (after apologizing for whatever offense caused the need for an ear tug).
Thank You, Lord, for the truth that our words are so powerful. I choose today to speak encouraging, life-giving words to those closest to me. I love positive words and the fruit they can produce in everyone I meet. I choose to be known as the one who inspires and lifts others up. I choose to change the atmosphere in every room I enter by the power of hope and love manifested in how I speak. In Jesus' name. Amen.
28 Ways to Honor and Love Series
For more inspiration on how to honor and love those closest to you during this season of love click here.
Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.