Three Words

Although I don’t consider myself a devout catholic, I do attend mass most Sunday mornings. I see the hour or so spent there as a sort of a sacred in-house inventory if you will, a pensive look into my soiled soul and the now dormant week that was.

This past Sunday, a question I’ve thought about a thousand times jumped out at me from the weekly bulletin.
It’s really quite simple:
What would you do if you knew you only had 24 hours to live?
What would you say and whom would you say it to?

In the aftermath of 9/11, I firmly believe that now more than ever, tomorrow is promised to absolutely no one.
Many victims on the ill-fated flights and the upper floors of a crumbling World Trade Center had cell phones that day and made calls to the people that mattered most to them.

Are you surprised?

I didn’t think so.

I’ve yet to listen to one of the recorded phone calls but I’ve no doubt it’s ‘heartbreaking squared’.
In my heart, I also know that every single conversation ended with three words:
I love you.

The dark acceptance of the raw reality of death makes us reach out and touch the special people that matter the most to us.
Sports cars, 80ft yachts, mansions, small islands, diamonds and all the gold ingots in the world are effortlessly rendered worthless.
Kind of cool, IMHO.

If you were told tonight you wouldn’t live to see another blazing orange creamsicle sunrise, I’m thinking there would be an undeniable clarity regarding the ultimate worth of the precious gifts (people) in your life.

Why wait until you’re backed into some abysmal corner before you take some action?
I ask everyone reading this post to call someone today (or tonight) because, to be quite honest, tomorrow is already peaking around the corner.
Do you want to take that chance?
I’m only talking about three simple words.
Can you do that for me?
I knew that you could . . .




15 thoughts on “Three Words

  1. Shit, I hate it when you make me cry, Michael. I make a point of always saying those words to all my friends and family whenever I talk to them because I know it may be the last words we ever share.

    Awww, I didn’t want to make anyone cry.
    I’m glad you take the time to say those words.
    I think it’s really important.
    If more people did this, I wonder how different the world would be?
    Thanks for the comment, Annie.


  2. i’ve faced my own mortality once, as you know…i fully appreciate the people around me, how lucky i am, and every single day that i am given…there is so much wisdom in this post michael…you can never tell those you care about that you love them too many times in your lifetime…never…my love to you, pam and the girls

    Back atcha, Moe.


  3. These words are the last thing Zoe hears from me every single night. Even when I’m cranky with her! Beautiful post Michael…..

    Zoe is one lucky little girl. Hope she knows it.
    Thanks, Kel.


  4. I will call my son tonight and maybe my two sisters and brother…
    That picture reminds me of one I took of my son when he was 4 and I saw him through the screen door, sitting on the front porch step without a stitch of clothing and his right arm around our dog that was sitting right beside him and just as tall as he was. I’m going to have to get that picture and scan it. Maybe I can improve it a little because it didn’t turn out very well, lightwise.

    Thanks for this post, Michael.

    If this post serves as a reminder for people to make a simple phone call, it was well worth it.
    I’ll sleep well tonight.
    Thanks, Lolly.


  5. Nice post M.. hey pooftha remember when you dated my Sister you were one of the only guys I thought was OK.. But you know I had to keep ya in check..Feel up to a hockey game on Thanksgiving? 😉


  6. Those 3 words are spoken quite often in this house. I make sure anyone around me, family and friends, know that I do love them. Beauteeeeful post there, Michael. Mucho kudos!

    I love Kudos!
    Tanks, Red.


  7. Are you working for the Kleenex company??? Very good thoughts M. It’s true, I know I’ve never said it enough to those I can’t say it to anymore.

    Maybe I should contact the Kleenex Co.
    Think about your comment and talk to someone today.
    It’s important.
    Thanks, kiddo.


  8. What a beautiful post, Michael! If 9/11 caused anything positive, it was that more people say ‘I love you’, than ever before. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so we must take advantage of every minute. I love you guys….you, Pam, Sarah, Jenna and my special god daughter, Hannah!

    Right back atcha, kiddo.
    You, John and the kids . . .
    You’re very special friends.
    But I think you knew that anyway 😉


  9. The death of a brother when I was young taught me this same lesson…and it’s invaluable. 9/11 reinforced it for me, too. Thanks for making sure it stays fresh. Your posts are always gentle reminders of something precious in life, which is why I come here when I need them. 🙂

    Nice of you to say that, Melanie.
    The idea stuck in my head and I had to leave it somewhere.
    Thanks for the visit.


  10. Michael, a really great post! We need to be constantly reminded. It seems we do good once we are reminded, but very quickly we start again to take each other for granted.
    Looking back there are many things I regret in my life…namely, choices I made, things I’ve said in anger……but the things I regret the most are ‘the words I didn’t say’….and then it was too late.

    We all manage to get into ruts time and again but inevitably something jars us back to reality.
    And we do need to be reminded — every single day.


  11. Life comes at you fast. When I sat in the doctor’s office near two weeks ago, and he said, “You could die.” My outlook on so many things changed. Things I thought mattered, didn’t, and the things that really mattered came into view. I realized, here I am– 23 years old, and what’ve I done with life thus far, and who have I shared it with, and I have I been a good person?

    Yeah. It’s made each day more meaningful.

    I’m hoping and praying things panned out for the best for you.
    Thanks for sharing it here, Kenzielee.


  12. It’s a philosophy to live by and i applaud you for pointing it out.

    It always amazes me how often people let the bullcrap get in the way – the tiffs, the annoyed tones, the little words that hurt and roll into bigger issues creating that avalanche of nonsense.

    To think, each day, each moment, could very well be our last. Say that “i love you” even though you’re bickering and tired and overworked. Laugh, apologize and make up when you realize you’ve been stupid or insensitive. Cherish each moment and love each life you encounter…

    Man, M, you got it right on. Nail, meet head.

    Nail, meet head? I love that and will use it somewhere. Soon.
    Thanks, MS. Always a pleasure to hear from you.


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