In the past week I’ve sent a get well card, a graduation card, an anniversary card, and am getting my nephew’s third birthday card ready to send to him. The get well card was for my friend Chris, whom I wrote about in my previous blog. His condition has greatly improved–he’s conscious, for starters–and I plan on visiting him again next week in the private hospital he’s been moved to for rehab after the stroke he suffered. I picked out a sort of silly card to make him laugh, but I found myself writing very heartfelt sentiments in it: “You are loved. You have so very many people praying for you.” That sort of thing. I dropped the card in the mail and my thoughts turned to last summer when we reconnected. He’d moved from Palm Springs to LA and then back again, and the first time I saw him again in Palm Springs last July we had some very–well–heartfelt conversations while we laid out and soaked in the Jacuzzi at his condo. He confided to me that he was lonely and afraid he’d be single forever. I was in a fragile place emotionally and was at a complete loss for words; I think I finally mustered up something half-assed like, “Quit looking and he’ll come along outta nowhere.” Which is true, but looking back now…why couldn’t I have said out loud what I wrote in the card the other day? Why did it take him nearly dying for me to remind him he’s loved by so many people? (Romantic love is overrated, but that’s an entirely different blog.) It’s somber occasions like that and giddy accomplishments like graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries that we save those deep sentiments for. Very few of us throw them around at will except with our families and significant others. Maybe that should change; it’s easier said than done. Actually, it’s not easy to say, which is the whole challenge.
For whatever reason, WordPress won’t let me insert this video directly into the blog like I thought it would, so here’s the link to Josh Groban’s 2006 song “You Are Loved,” which I pawned this blog title from. It’s a great song and I intended to quote some of the lyrics, but instead I want to end with these words from Maya Angelou. She passed away yesterday at the age of 86 after living a wonderfully fulfilling life in which she blessed us with so many quotes chock-full of wisdom, humility, and self-awareness. So listen to Josh’s song if you’d like, and enjoy these words from the gifted wordsmith Dr. Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’ I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. 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.”