They may forget what you said... but they will never forget how you made them feel.
~Carl W. Buechner
I recently read this quote on my friend Sandi's facebook page. It is not a new quote, I have seen it many times before, but this time it really made me think about somethings going on in my life.
My Parents: Lately, the "old people," as we like to call them, have seemed a little more frailer than usual. Dad has had a couple of falls and Mom's memory seems a bit worse. However, every weekend, when we talk on the phone as we have done since the first weekend I spent in college, just listening to their voices makes me feel loved and cared for. There are weeks when the news isn't always the best--they are tired, in pain, sad, or not feeling so well, but before we say goodbye, they always tell me they love me. On Easter, Mom asked about my job and my travels. Before she said goodbye, she said, "I just want you to know how terribly proud I am of you." At that moment, nothing could have meant more to me. I always knew I was loved, but to hear my mother, the one woman who allowed me to be who I really am, even though she didn't always understand, expressed her pride. It was so loving and all the hard work seemed worth it.
My In-Laws: Those wild and crazy Selchows are people you want on your side. They love a party, keep their friend endlessly, always put their family first, and are a force to be reckoned with. This past weekend, they held a "porch party" and invited two of their life-long friends, a few new friends, and of course, family. It was hysterical watching the eternal cowgirl, Waynette, "booty dance" and request to hear some Pink on the stereo. She called my sister-in-law, Barb, "Beulah Pearl," and they danced like they were 18 on the patio as we watched and cheered! Barb received three fashion watches for her birthday, and wore all three at the same time. Everyone was made to feel welcome and there is no such thing as a stranger. How does that make you feel? Special, accepted, a part of the family.
My husband: Since taking this job, there have been a few late nights and many long hours learning the job. Many evenings when I come home from work, I fall asleep on the couch. Tonight, I fell asleep with a paper plate and a fork sitting next to me. I was cruisin' when I felt him quietly reach over me and take my plate and fork to the kitchen. He didn't rouse me or comment on having to do this, he just let me rest. I felt so safe and secure. He has done this so many times for me in our thirty-one years together. When I have been frustrated and angry, he has not let me allow it to control me. When I have cried pitifully over being hurt and sad, he has spoken kind words and encouraged me to work toward a goal, like going to Ireland when I retire. He has painted my walls, bought me what he thinks is millions of shoes, started my car on cold mornings, and took care of me when I was sick or hurt. He makes me feel like I can go on, even when I am worn out.
How do you make others feel? I know how you make me feel. I hope I always make you feel like you matter, because you do.