what are those two words for you

* I originally posted this article – my first Pulse piece months ago. I am updating and adding to it due to some new and unfortunate circumstances.

Yesterday, I received the dreaded call I knew was coming but was hoping it wouldn’t. At 8:31am PST on Thursday October 1st, my grandmother – “Grandma Esther” passed away. She was my last living grandparent and her loss has been traumatic on many levels. Part of my writing this addition is one way I can channel my grieving into something productive and healing. Esther was many things to many people but for me – she was a friend, a mentor and a voice of honest loving truth. She will be sorely missed and my heart is heavy today.

The 2 words I have you Grandma are: THANK YOU.

Love, your grandson.


It’s no secret that it’s not just the power of our voice but rather the words we choose that create an impact both in our lives and the lives of the people around us. Words move us in many ways both good and bad. Words can bring people together or tear them apart. In short, words are power and powerful.

When I was only 21, I lost my father to cancer. Not one day goes by where I don’t think about him and the lessons he taught me along the way. In particular, he told me to “always believe”. To this day I still remember as if he was whispering it to me in my ear when I doubted myself or my ability to achieve something. Those two words have always driven me to move forward and reminded me to not only believe in myself but others as well as possibilities in life.

Sure there were other positive two words phrases along the way that I remember but “always believe” was one of the most powerful. He always had a way with words and those words provided me with a renewed sense that all would be okay in the world. It was as if he knew exactly what to say and when to say it.

Today I am the proud father of an amazing three year old boy and even as I write this post, I am thinking carefully about the words I choose in the event one day he may read this. Choosing the right words at the right time seems to be a daily challenge but I think back to my father and what he modeled for me as a guide for what I want my son to remember as he grows up and reflects back on the words I used with him. This bring me to what I believe is a powerful question about the words we choose.

If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only two words?