A few months ago, a misunderstanding and then an over-reaction cost me a friend. That experience has caused me to think a great deal about the impact we have on each other's lives.
I was able to attend my Uncle Frank's funeral last month and it was wonderful to meet some of the people who made such a difference in his life. During his last year, as he struggled with cancer, he made some life-changing decisions that made it possible for him to go through the temple for the first time just six weeks before he died. He was sealed to his parents (my grandparents). What a wonderful day that was and it was a treat to meet some of the people who helped that happen.
I believe that every person we associate with is impacted by us in some way. Some of those associations will inspire, cheer, lift and benefit each other. Others will hurt, degrade, or belittle. What a responsibility it is to be sure that our associations are positive.
At my uncle's funeral, we sang, "Each Life that Touches Ours for Good." The words are powerful and should give us pause for reflection about our associations with others.
Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.
What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.
When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.
For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior’s name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.
A few years ago my family went to the play "Wicked" in Chicago. It was a wonderful production and the music was emotional and beautiful, moving me to tears more than once. One of my favorite songs (sorry to be throwing so many lyrics at you) was "For Good."
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...
I have so many friends and family who have made an impact on my life. So many who have offered encouraging words, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and an occasional reality check when I've needed it. I am very blessed. Thank you to all of you. My life is better because of so many of you. I hope that when all is said and done, your lives are better because of me, too.
Let's all do our best to make our interactions with others positive and inspiring.