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What’s the first name that pops into your head when you hear the word “family”? Now, when was the last time you told that person exactly how much they mean to you? I don’t mean a simple “I love you”. I mean sit down, take 20 minutes, and truly express to that person how and why they are so important to you? Has it been longer than a day or two? If so, stop reading this and REACH OUT. Right now! This article can wait…

Ok…did you do it? You didn’t, did you? You kept reading waiting for me to explain my obsession with this request? Trust me, I have no witty sayings to explain this one. It’s really simple. DO IT!!! Now!

Now, anyone else come to mind that you haven’t contacted lately out of fear of rejection, fear of too much time passed, maybe just not “up for” a long chat? Call them. Now. Stop reading and call them. Forget your fear, put your pride aside, and call that person you love dearly but are too afraid to dial their number. If calling is too hard, get out some paper. Write them a letter. I’ll wait…

Why am I obsessing about reaching out to someone you miss? Because “family” is everything. I’m not talking about your blood relatives. Family has many forms but the basic principle is this: “family” is compiled of those that you count on to pull you back from the edge, to reassure you that you have a place in this crazy world, the ones who listen to you complain, just as much as you share your joys. These people need you just as much as you need them. Who cares who tries harder? Maybe they are depressed, embarrassed of something that happened, that they fear you won’t forgive them? FORGIVE them and try to reconnect.

I stress this because two years ago, I answered one of the hardest calls of my life and it was the last time I ever heard that person’s voice. They died only hours after our call. The conversation wasn’t easy. Things were said that I can never forget, but I did get to say how much I loved them and I’d give my life to have just one more call to finish that conversation.

On this day, 2 years ago, my dad committed suicide. He called me to say goodbye and from 3,000 miles away I begged for more time. It was a horrifying call that will haunt me forever and if I could turn back time, I would have called him 10 times a day until he felt he had another way out.

Life is short. No one knows the demons that lie within another person, but maybe your call will be the one that lights someone’s fire once again, so they have the will to keep going. I don’t mean for my posts to be so sad lately, but the timing of my posts have aligned with some of my hardest days. I’ve used this platform to inspire you, not add to your woes.

I’ve been in Georgia for 2 days now visiting my family, and it has felt so good to hug the ones I value the most. Living across the country gets lonely. I love my friends in California and I’m thankful for how many people I can call my tribe, but this trip home is to focus on two people I am most likely going to lose soon, due to terminal cancer. Our days are numbered, but our love will be endless. I’ve never felt more humble than I do right now.

When hard times hit, family rallies for strength but I want to encourage you to rally simply because you can. Don’t wait for the storm to find shelter. Nurture your home, your community, your tribe EVERY day, maybe your effort will be the climate change someone desperately needs NOW to avoid that storm entirely.

Now, let me ask you again…when you hear the word “family”, who comes to mind? PICK UP THE PHONE now and call them. Say all you ever wanted to say. Don’t skip a single thought. If they stop you, gently ask if you can finish…overshare, tell them why you value their time, their love, their support. Tell them you forgive them for any drama that may linger. Tell them to forgive you too. Give yourself and them the peace of mind that may very well tip their scale back to the middle. I promise you, it’s worth it.

And if anyone reading this feels we too need to reconnect, I’m all ears. Don’t be surprised if you see my name on your cell soon. My arms are open, so is my heart. If this life has taught me anything, it’s that no situation is too big to be resolved. It just takes two people giving up their pride and letting their heart love openly and freely.

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