The Power Of 3 Words

Once words get into your brain, they can hold lots of power over your life.

Here are short stories of 3 words that held power over my mind.

#1 Story
Joe was in a lot of back pain weeks before his back surgery. I was up at least once a night helping him switch positions. Once he got comfortable again I would go sleep in the guest bedroom.

One night he woke up twice in excruciating pain. After getting him settled for the second time I flopped on the bed in the spare room and had one of my talks with God. (This is where I do all the talking and none of the listening.)

I told God I did not understand why he was not answering my prayer for Joe’s healing. Why was he still in pain? Please heal the pain even if it means he has to go live with You. I will muddle through somehow.

#2 Story

The morning after he passed, Rommie jumped on my bed and was all happy and excited because Mom was home after being gone 29 hours. I told her “Daddy is not coming home because he died last night. I am not sure what will happen to us but we will be okay, I do not know how but we will be okay.”

#3 Story

My anthem after Joe passed became “I Will Survive.”  Not sure how soon after his passing I adopted this anthem, it might not have been until 2009 when I got laid off. My thinking was since I survived the first year of widowhood, I can survive unemployment as well.

Key Words

The key word in my prayer was “muddle.”

The key word I spoke to Rommie was “okay.”

The key word in my anthem was “survive.”

Muddle, Okay and Survive – nothing good can come to you when you live by those words.

Merriam Webster ( defines muddle:

to think or act in a confused aimless way

Yes, that describes my life since Joe passed. There were moments of clarity (like when I started this blog) but most of the past 6 3/4 years, I’ve been muddling or as another definition

to make a mess of 


Merriam Webster defines Ok as

fairly good : not very good or very bad

That also describes the past 6 3/4 years – not very good and not very bad. They were neither because of my muddling.


The definition for survive is:

to remain alive or in existence, to live on, to continue to function or prosper

Yes, I continued to function, to remain alive, and remain in existence, since Joe’s passing and the onset of career upheaval. But that is it – survive, barely keeping my head above water.

This “Dancing Queen” has nothing against Gloria Gaynor and her song. Lord knows it helped me dance again during troubled times. There are times when grief is fresh that one focuses solely on surviving but surviving is not a good theme for one’s life.


Well life changes this year.

Muddle, okay and survive are Gone With The Wind.

They have to be.

I can no longer barely survive.

Stay tuned on Monday January 5th when I will reveal my word of the year, a word I’ve already started focusing on and making a part of my life.


Positively Embrace The Negative

Having a positive attitude during a grief journey is vital to recovery. 

I am not talking about burying grief, putting smile on your face and walking around acting like nothing happened.  That is a false positive attitude.  Choosing that route is stuffing feelings deep down inside which is not good for mental or physical well-being.

A positive attitude during my grief journey meant I had to know this journey was survivable.  I knew Joe wanted me to move forward because we discussed what he wanted me to do if I survived him.  I drew on that fact and the fact that others made it through this journey.  If they can do it, I can too.

Even though I knew this journey was survivable, it was not easy, it was not quick and I had plenty of bad, very bad and extremely bad days.    

Embrace The Negative

There were times grief and I became one.  I felt all the negative emotions.  Experiencing these emotions was the best way to work through grief.  I appreciated the good times by fully embracing the bad times.  There were numerous times I told grief that while he succeeded in knocking me down, I was not staying down.  After getting up, I would figure out how/why grief sucker punched me, learn from the experience and move forward.

If the same experience happened again, I knew how to deal with it.

I survived my grief journey.  Therefore know that you will survive yours journey too, if you are on one.   

If you are not experiencing grief, be thankful.  When you do experience it, know that you will survive it.