Ever wish you were better with words?

I do. A lot.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a pretty good command of the english language and my ability to communicate what I’m thinking is, I believe, at least above average. I’m almost always able, with careful consideration, to choose the rights words to communicate exactly what I’m thinking or feeling. I’m rarely at a loss for words. Most moments of silence I get caught in are simply for the purpose of going over the words in my head to make sure they paint the picture I’m trying to get across. This gift comes with a bit of a curse, because it also means that I sometimes know the exact wrong thing to say and choose to say it anyway, and that always hurts the people I love more than I’d like to admit. The point, however, still stands: I’m pretty good with words.

Despite all of this, people like me can still find a loss for words.

Sometimes it happens because the situation you are in is so strange to you that your brain simply doesn’t know how to process the situation. Sometimes someone says something that was so unexpected that it takes you a minute to absorb that they actually just said thatOccasionally our brains are just tired, and other times we just don’t care enough to expend the thought energy. Sometimes we’re so angry that all of the emotions and thoughts run so quickly and so loudly through our brains that we completely overload our left frontal lobe and end up making the most ridiculous noises that don’t even remotely resemble speech.

And then there are situations – very special, very important situations – in which it’s not your lack of ability, but rather the inability of language itself. These situations are rare, but their importance in our lives cannot be overstated. These situations happen when there is someone or something so amazing, so beautiful, and so perfect that you absolutely cannot find words to describe them. It can also be the case that things are so terrible, so horrible, and so traumatizing that words don’t exist. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m probably glad that those words don’t exist… But enough of that! Allow me to re-direct your attention to the more preferred of the two.

I’m almost sure that this has happened to you! Think back. Maybe you reached the top of a mountain and the breathtaking view was beyond description. Perhaps someone displayed an act of kindness toward you that was so wonderful you simply couldn’t appropriately express your gratitude. Or maybe, just maybe, you met someone so wonderful, so impossibly beautiful, and so charming that you couldn’t possibly express your feelings toward that person. This person could have entered your life at just the right time in such a way that no one, possibly not even you, could ever understand the positive impact they had on your life at a very important turning point. This person could have blown away all of your previous expectations for what was even possible to find in another human being. Without knowing or meaning to, this person had such an incredible impact on your life that, no matter what happens in the future, you will never be able to look back with regret because they made your life better.

For this person, you lack words and the words are lacking. Oh, you try to find the right words! You may even spend some time with google typing something like “beautiful synonyms” just to try and find the perfect word or combination of words. You might try calling them beautiful, incredible, wonderful, dazzling, lovely, magnificent, superb, stunning, gorgeous, elegant, angelic, pretty, marvelous, cute, charming, splendid, or even the unlikely (and rather unappreciated) pulchritudinous. But there’s still a problem! None of these even come close to communicating what you’re trying to say. Not a gosh darn one of them!

So what can we do? Well, there really isn’t much we can do except keep using our incredibly limited resources to try and communicate our feelings of gratitude, appreciation, or even love. In all honesty, and I hate to be a downer, but they will probably never fully understand what you mean. They might not ever fully know the extent to which you appreciate them. But here’s what you do: Never give up trying. Never stop seeking new words. Never give up using new combinations and configurations of words. Is there a risk that what you end up saying makes absolutely zero sense? Absolutely! But that doesn’t matter. If this person has truly earned your feelings that you have toward them then are they not worth trying? Find new ways to tell them the same thing. Sound like a broken record. Write it. Carve it. Sing it. Anything! Although you will never, ever be able to fully express and communicate your thoughts and feelings, you better make darn sure you never let them forget what you can communicate! Tell them often and tell them always because that’s what they deserve.

So that’s exactly what I will always try to do.

Katie, I love you! I know that I don’t know the plans God has for me and you, but I also know that, no matter what, you have impacted my life in a way that I can never fully show my gratitude for. You truly are the most amazing and beautiful person I have ever met and I am sorry that I will always fail to communicate my appreciation for you. I promise to keep seeking the perfect way to communicate my thoughts and feelings for you as long as they are mine to communicate – because whatever happens, whatever may change, you made and continue to make my life better. Thank you so much for that. You truly have no idea how much you mean to me. Even if we find ourselves apart in the future, that doesn’t change a thing because you didn’t just improve my life, you helped change it. You served as a wakeup call from God when I needed it. Thank you for your willingness to serve the Lord. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being you. And, finally, thank you for being born!

Happy (almost) Birthday, Catharine Marie Welch. I hope tomorrow is the best!


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