little note = big impact

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

A year ago this month, I received a phone call that would forever change my life.

For the seven weeks that was a blur.

Heart Attack. Fluid in her lungs. Cancer.

Phone calls, text messages, emails.

ICU. Nursing Home. Hospice.

Those seven weeks were painfully slow and painfully fast.

Drive 4 hours.
Head to ICU. Be quick. You've got ten minutes.
wishing, hoping, praying, holding.

Sit. Wait.

In the quiet waiting area of the large, sterile hospital. I sat. I waited.
Staring at the walls.
Out the windows.
At the floor.

There was one lone computer for public use in the corner of the waiting area.
A coveted spot to sit, if only for a short time.

Logging in to my Yahoo! email account enabled me to check in with the rest of my world ~ Enabled me to tell everyone at once, without having to form the words in my throat, again and again and again...

Checking my Yahoo! email helped me to not feel so alone.

Short messages, that said not much of anything...but so very much of everything.
Like this one from a friend who's been there...

~ I hate knowing that you get it. I really don't have any other words than just to email and say I'm thinking of you

Those words...They meant so much at the time...They still do.

Rest In Peace

After things were all said and done and life had returned to normal (HA!), I had intentions of sending snail mail thank you cards to some of the people who made a difference during the toughest of times. People who often go unmentioned, unhugged, unthanked.

Well, life got in the way as it often does, and soon those 7 weeks turned into 7 more weeks which turned into 7 months...Finally, I decided, better late than never. It was not however, snail mail.

Why not? It's fast, it's free, and it's efficient.

I started with the hospice care folks and simply sent a note saying something like 'Thank you for taking such great care of my Mom during her battle with cancer last summer & for continuing to think of our family'

(Hospice has been amazing sending thoughtful notes and newsletters in the mail to us, even still!)
Imagine my delight when I received an email back immediately from the Bereavement Specialist. I asked her if she might know how I could get in touch with the patient advocate that we had spent many hours with during the course of the hospital stays. The person who saw us at our absolute worst. It didn't take long for her to email me the information I needed to get my choice of snail mail or email out to this gentleman who holds what I could only imagine is one of the toughest jobs out there.

I sent a short note to him, telling him that I was sorry it was so late, but that I'm a firm believer in the fact that a person can never hear 'thank you' or 'you're doing a great job' enough...and that I was very appreciative of the work he did with my family during our darkest hours...

Immediately (GAH! How I love email!!) I received a part, it read...

I appreciate the note -- thank you very much. I value your words and thoughts very much. I'm humbled.......As I think back on that difficult time, I remember your family doing a really great job loving and caring for your mom.

Those words, those few simple words he took the time to send to my email, get me through some rough patches even still.

If only I had known....the guilt I feel felt about not being there more...

What I'm saying is...
Have you told someone how important they are to you today?
Have you said I love you? I'm thinking of you. I care?

Right now...
Stop, open up your email, and send a note or five or ten to people that you care about...and tell them so.
You won't regreat it.

I promise.

Click the cute little video below for a fun cartoon about staying connected from anywhere - A few minutes to stay connected really does make a big difference!


Nicole Feliciano said...

Love your post too. How would you have kept it all together without email? Thanks for sharing.

Lucrecer said...

Wonderful, wonderful message.

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