Tell Me Something Good


A friend of mine posted on Facebook, “Tell me something good. I am so tired of bad news and being sad.” My friend has faced so many challenges this year. First, she lost her mother, and then a few short months later, her father. There have also been other life crisis, some big, some small. The most recent occurred just a few days ago, ironically, on the anniversary of her mother’s passing. As she and her siblings prepared for their annual Labor Day camping trip, her sister had a serious heart attack. Fortunately, she was rushed to the hospital, treated, and is now recovering at home.

My friend has had enough! Though she has experienced much joy in the past year, it has been tempered by the pieces of the puzzle that are missing. Birthdays, weddings, camping trips with her family, and time spent with her grandson are often bittersweet. Grief is a heavy burden, and leaves one feeling so alone. It took courage for my friend to reach out beyond her sadness and ask: “Tell me something good.”

How many of us carry the burden of sadness or grief at least once in a while? How often do we suffer alone with our own personal pain? Haven’t we all wanted or needed to just hear something good! What is it that keeps us from asking sooner? How often do we finally reach the point of asking, only to learn how much our friends and family long to help?

And so it was for me. When my friend asked, I merely wanted to help. I searched my mind for something grand, stupendous, or so magnificent that it would surely lift her spirits. I pondered this for a long time, and was dumbfounded to realize that I could not recollect one huge great thing. What I found, though, were innumerable small things. Good for me is the first cup of tea in the morning, the purring of the cat when she is happy, the trill of the peepers in spring, and the symphony of crickets and grasshoppers in fall. It is the seemingly endless days of summer, when it feels like anything is possible. It is a beautiful sunrise, sunset, or a rainbow after a storm. It is a sweet memory from days long past, and time well spent with friends and family.

As I pondered what to share, I wondered if any of my seemingly insignificant “good things” would be enough to lift my friend’s spirit. I began to type, backspace, and type again: I took a great photo; I saw a flower so blue that my heart was filled with joy; The lady in front of me at McDonald’s bought my iced tea; Lydia the crane met me at my car when I got home from work; One of the people I trained today said something that touched my heart. The list went on and on. In the end, I posted that it was cool enough to have all the windows in the house open. It was not grand, magnificent, or stupendous, and honestly it felt a little silly.

A few days later I was having a tough day. Seemingly easy tasks became complex, roadblocks appeared every step of the way, and soon my entire day was consumed by utter nonsense. I was frustrated, angry, and feeling way out of control. In a rare moment, I posted my irritation on Facebook. The response from my friends was overwhelming and heartfelt. The gal that I worried so much about what “good thing” to post, responded by saying: “I wish I could write like you do, so I can return the favor you have done for me countless times by making me feel better with your words!!!“

Then in a great “aha” moment, it came to me! That one “good thing” is not about the words. It is not about big, or small, significant, or insignificant. It is about the meaning behind the words. It is simply and purely about the caring! It is about one friend reaching out to another. So if I may, this one time have a do over, I would like to say to all my friends and family that need to hear something good now, or in the coming days; I care. I am here for you. And, I hope your heart finds the peace it desires, and that you are soon able to experience the love, beauty, and joy that are ever present.

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© Gail Howarth and Living At The Lakehouse, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gail Howarth and Living At The Lakehouse with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


  1. Lexi June 8, 2020

    I am thankful I got a second chance to have a baby♥ and this one seems like she wants to stay?

    • Gail Howarth June 8, 2020

      This is such great news. I am sending prayers that she will stay and flourish.

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