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Thursday, January 27, 2011


The following quote by Maya Angelou is one of my absolute all-time favorites so when I saw it listed among Mama Kat's writing prompts this week, I knew it was the one for me...

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. -Maya Angelou

That is so incredibly true, isn't it?  If you really stop and think about it?  We often tend to forget the little details of major events or daily happenings in our lives. 

But the feelings?  Those are much more easy to retain and to pull out of the memory banks of our souls at any given moment.  Sometimes even when we'd rather not. 

Take facebook, for example.  I can see a name and face of a person I haven't seen or even thought of for years and while I may not be able to recall one single conversation I had with that person, I am almost always able to remember how I felt when I was in their presence.

When Darin (my first husband) died, so many people came to my house, to the church, the funeral...brought food, sent plants, flowers, cards, made donations to the boys' college fund. 

Many of these people I had never met before yet they were there because Darin had touched their lives in some positive way and they wanted to pay it forward. 

A lot of them, most of them, didn't know what to say.  I mean,  who really does in a situation like that?  But they came anyway and while it was emotionally and physically exhausting and draining to stand for so many hours and greet each one of them, I will forever be grateful for the love and sympathy they so thoughtfully brought and gave to us.

I don't remember now who brought those casseroles, chocolate eclairs, or rolls upon rolls of toilet paper and paper towels that took me two years to use up.  I don't remember which particular persons came through the receiving line or to the house and poured eloquent words of wisdom upon me. 

What I do remember is the feeling that everything, somehow, was going to be okay because how could it not with so many people around me who cared so much? 

There have been many, many times in my life when I have struggled for the right words to say or the right thing to do for someone , when all that was really needed was my presence and maybe a smile of support, or a wink of understanding.

We watched a video of a sermon by Andy Stanley in our Sunday School class this past Sunday and in it he talked about the things we say about people after they've passed on.  He brought up how often times at funerals, we display photos or videos of the person doing the things they enjoyed with the people they loved. 

He then pointed out how you don't see us displaying pictures of their material possessions or tax returns with the amount of money they made throughout their lives.  Because in the end, we all know those aren't the the kinds of things that matter...the kinds of things we really want to be remembered for.  

We want to be remembered for the love we gave and the kindness we showed.  

When my mother was in the hospital for 3 weeks last summer, the attitude of the nurse or doctor on duty was often our topic of conversation. The ones who came in with a smile on their faces and a warm and kind demeanor were always a welcome sight.  

Sometimes I would show up at her room in the morning and could tell immediately what kind of night she had and it almost always had a whole lot to do with the nurses who cared for her through the night.  She would say, "oh, I hope I have her again tonight!" Why?  Simply because she was a little bit more kind, caring, thoughtful...

The attitudes we carry around with us are often far more powerful than we realize.  Sometimes the way a complete stranger acts towards us, depending on our state of mind at the time, can make all the difference in the world.

They will often forget the words we said, they will forget the things we did, but they will most likely never forget the way we made them feel...

Wise words.


  1. What you wrote is absolutely so true. Sometimes people don't have to really say much at all for me to determine if I feel comfortable with them; it's all in their attitude... how they make me feel.

    Glad I found your blog! Visiting you from Mama Kat's

  2. I think as women we are always much more emotional in our connections with people. I can tell in the first 10 minutes of meeting a person how comfortable I will be in talking/sharing with them. It's all about feeling.

    Great post! Visiting you via Mama Kat's!

  3. this is so true, and what a code to live by. Wonderful words today, most wonderful.

  4. So true. And, on most occasions, how hard is it to be kind, say a kind word, smile?

  5. These words are so true! I have been through so many "happenings" in my life and the people I remember most vividly I don't remember because of words or things...but of how their presence in some way brought me comfort and peace...and oftentimes reminded me of Christ love for me.


  6. Yes, so true and well said! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  7. I am glad that your blog was beside mine so I got a chance to read it. Well said and so true. Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  8. Stopping by from Mama Kat's linky. What a great post. I;m glad I came by. Looking forward to more of your posts.