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Posted on 4.20.2022 by Jody Noland

Two painful memories from over a decade ago are seared in my mind. The first happened the afternoon of my husband’s funeral when I was asked this heart-wrenching question: “Did Dad write me a letter?” I had to choke out this answer: “No, I am so sorry, he didn’t. He just couldn’t.”

My husband died just three months after his cancer diagnosis. With the shock of a very bleak prognosis, the many resultant and necessary decisions along with his physical suffering, he didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to write letters despite my pleadings.

Posted on 4.13.2022 by Jody Noland

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house that evening.

During Leave Nothing Unsaid letter-writing workshops, I ask if any participants are willing to share excerpts of what they have written during different segments of the letter writing process. A few brave souls are always willing to share, and their words inevitably inspire everyone in the room.

Recently, I was honored to lead several workshops at The Woodlands Methodist Church in Houston, TX. Both workshops had about 50 participants, and the audience was primarily middle-aged.

Posted on 4.06.2022 by Jody Noland

Do you find yourself making excuses about writing letters? Perhaps you agree that it is important, but the tyranny of the urgent always seems gets in the way. You’ll write those letters…some day. But some day never seems to come. Procrastination about the important things in life affects many of us, me included. No judgment here.

Posted on 3.23.2022 by Jody Noland

 

Does someone you love have a “big birthday” approaching? One of those birthdays that ends with a “0”or with the delivery of a Medicare card? 

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve always been grateful for birthdays and for the gift of good health and for another year of life, yet the “big birthdays” always make me swallow hard and say: “Well, I certainly don’t FEEL xx!” (Hoping the immediate response from others will be: “Well, you certainly don’t LOOK xx, either!”)

Posted on 3.16.2022 by Jody Noland

Begging for what, you might ask? Begging for the most important relationships in your life, that’s what! 

Posted on 3.09.2022 by Jody Noland

“The climb gets steeper and more challenging as you approach the summit.” That truth applies not just to mountain climbing but also to the uphill battle of the later years of life. 

Some of our aging loved ones suffer the tragedy of dementia which can last for many years. Others face physical infirmities of one sort or another. Very few progress through their 80’s and 90’s with great physical and mental health. (#goals)

Big question: How do you meaningfully love and encourage an elderly parent? Sometimes even more challenging…an aging in-law? 

Posted on 3.02.2022 by Jody Noland

How do you celebrate the best qualities in others?

Not just in your personal relationships. How do you celebrate the best of the best within your business or non-profit organization? And why is it so important?

Clarifying core values is a worthwhile exercise for us all. Perhaps you’ve done this personally. (I hope so!) What about where you work or serve? Are the core values readily apparent? If you’re in a leadership position, are you intentional about honoring those team members who most beautifully and consistently reflect those values?

Posted on 2.16.2022 by Jody Noland

 "Isn't that really what you're pushing with Leave Nothing Unsaid?"

No, a thousand times no.

Over the years, I’ve seen some people reject the importance and practice of affirmation for family and friends because they equate it with the idea that “everyone gets a trophy.”  

Posted on 2.09.2022 by Jody Noland

 

Have you ever been given a gift at a funeral? No, neither have I.

But gifts of Leave Nothing Unsaid were given to those who attended the funeral of 84-year old Jacob "Jake" Hammrich, a beloved resident of Ipswich, South Dakota (population 954) in June, 2021.

Posted on 2.02.2022 by Jody Noland

 Have you ever heard the old adage “when you’re inside the jar, you can’t read the label?” If you are a mom or dad, grandparent or mentor, you know those words are  especially applicable to children.

From an early age, our children reveal who God created them to be. We see glimpses of their natural wiring and inclinations practically from birth. 

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