You’ve probably heard the phrase, “famous last words” before, but you might not know its origin. There are varying stories, but a quick google search and you learn about a man named General John Sedgwick. His last uttered words were, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance” right before getting shot during the U.S. Civil War. So now, besides what a dying person might say before they depart this earth, one can use this phrase as a sarcastic quip when a comment is considered to be proven wrong. Right so!
Well, I like to focus more on famous lasting words. Have you heard of those? They are words said to you by someone else that you never ever forget! They are powerful enough to penetrate your soul and leave a lasting and lingering (sometimes lifelong) feeling. They may be good or bad, debilitating and demoralizing or motivating and uplifting. I think in light of this being the last day of 2015 it is good to reflect on what lasting words are imprinted on your soul from someone else, and what impressions have you left on another person with your words? They don’t have to be just from this year, even further afield in the past. But it just might make you a bit more careful of what you say in the New Year (if you are inclined to make resolutions) because words have more power than you might realize! I have a few I’d like to share with you.
From my father: “I always knew you’d be the one to come back to me” on our first phone call when I searched him out after not seeing him for many years following my parents’ divorce.
From my grandfather: “Hey good lookin’, whatchu got cookin’, how’s about cookin’ somethin’ up for me?” when he wanted me to make him some food. Even if I botched his eggs, he would still ask me to make him something to eat when I saw him. And now look at the field I chose to make my living? FOOD!
From my daughter: “Thank you for giving me my dream wedding, I’ll never forget this” just before my son and I were about to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Her dad had bailed out on helping with the wedding costs, so I gave her all the money I had set aside for my dream bakery.
From my son: “You have gone through so much pain, suffering and frustration, yet you still find a way to please me and go out of your way for me. Your entire life has been about other people. You would always rather do something for someone else than for yourself. Mom, this makes you who you are. You are truly a philanthropist. You are my Ghandi, my Mother Theresa, my Martin Luther King.” This is from a two page letter he wrote to me for my birthday some thirteen years ago. And yes, lasting words can be spoken verbally, or written in a letter, text or email!
From my granddaughter: “We just made a core memory” after she and I went to church together this past summer (we had just seen that Disney movie “Inside Out” which references core memories). She and I are “besties” and I have millions of lasting words from her, but being with her at church that day was unforgettable! For both of us!
From my Hubby: “I was put on this earth to love you.” No explanation needed on this, totally sums it up right there folks!
It is not to say that I only have a list of famous lasting words that are happy go lucky. I have hurtful ones too. I do. My ex telling me he should have left me in the gutter where he found me (in front of my then ten year old son no less) wasn’t cool. But this is the trick. If you have a negative one like that, you can change it around. Turn it on its head so it doesn’t get the best of you. Therefore, what I like to focus on is the great Irish writer Oscar Wilde’s gutter gem quote “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars.” And personally I’m thankful God put eyes on the front of our heads. So that when we are looking up at the stars, at least we are looking forward, towards the future!
And that’s what I hope you all do, is to look ahead. I once heard that the new year lies before us all, like freshly fallen snow. So be careful how you tread, for every mark will show. That is why you must think before you speak, as you might say the famous lasting words someone will never forget.
I hope you have a very Happy New Year. Best wishes for a safe, peaceful, and healthy 2016! And thank you so very much for all the support you have given me on this Yankee Doodle Paddy adventure! It means the world! God bless each and every one of you!