Other than your regular holidays—ones like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Arbor Day—there are some pretty crazy celebrations that a handful of (probably very invested and enthusiastic) people choose to celebrate. From “Fruitcake Toss Day” in January to “Wear Brown Shoes Day” in December and a bunch in between, such as the one on May 21st called “Talk Like Yoda Day,” everyone can find a reason to party.
Even though we may already have an overabundance of holidays on the calendar, may I still propose new one? I’m not planning to make it official with an act of legislation or anything, but I am working on the name, possibly “Tell Somebody What They Mean to You Day.”
You see, I’ve been spending time with a group of women, and we’ve been taking turns telling our stories. Even though I already knew most of these women fairly well, I’ve learned so much about them. I learned about their childhoods and their parenting experiences, and most of all, I’ve learned about their faith journeys. And for each of these women, they’ve mentioned someone other than a family member who loomed largely in their lives. They each had at least one person who stepped in a gap left by loss or doubt or natural consequences. Someone who showed up at just the right time and spoke spirit-filled words of encouragement and love and even reproof. After an anecdote about this angel in disguise, all of us would often say something like, “And to this day, she probably has no idea what she means to me.”
This exercise got me thinking: Who needs to hear this from me? Who are the people in my life who I rarely see anymore, but I would’ve been lost without their intervention? Who are the ones who modeled for me how to be a godly woman? Who are the precious souls who are walking around this world every day—doing normal things like folding laundry or making a sandwich or walking a dog—and they have no clue what their words and very presence have meant to me?
So I texted the woman who popped into my mind first, and I told her. I let my friend know that she made a giant difference in my life. I told her that she was my gold standard for compassion and leadership. Not that the date was especially significant, but I told her on May 11th. I’m not saying that this should be the annual date for “Tell Somebody Day,” but it’s a start. There’s no reason to wait until next year. Go ahead and tell someone today.
It’s like the lines from that Garth Brooks’ song:
“’Cause I’ve lost love ones in my life/Who never knew how much I loved them. Now I live with the regret/That my true feelings for them never were revealed. So I made a promise to myself/To say each day how much she means to me. And avoid that circumstance/Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel.”