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“Replacing just one word can restore the soul.” - Kaari Allen

I don’t necessarily have to share this piece, I GET to share this. I am allowed, permitted, blessed and honored to share this. There is no obligation nor duty, it is a choice and a privilege to do so.

While waiting far too long in the Wendy’s drive-thru to buy and deliver a Frosty to my dad, I found myself trying to talk my way off of the proverbial frustration ledge in my head. My dad has been on and off of hospice care for the past eight months and in the end stages of his life. He certainly doesn’t ask for anything and a Frosty makes him happy. It is that simple.

Then it came to me.


“Kaari, you don’t have to wait in this line you know, you GET to do this.

As I shifted just one word, my shoulders immediately un-hunched (probably not a medical term, but you can imagine the visual), the crinkle in my forehead receded, and my heart warmed to a calm. Don’t get me wrong, there were still five cars ahead of me in line and three behind confirming that I had no choice but to wait with no exit option. But, instantaneously, just by replacing one simple word for another, I felt better waiting for the next car to move forward.

When my dad eventually does pass away, I know that I will desperately wish that I could wait in that interminable drive-thru lane on his behalf…even just one more time.

Shifting our perspective does take practice and self- awareness. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s a daily commitment. Forcing myself to think oh, “I GET to pay the post-Christmas bills is assumedly a stretch, but walking the talk, so to speak, is something that I want to share, so here goes:

I don’t have to pay these post-holiday bills, I GET to have purchased gifts with the money I have earned and want to share.

I didn’t have to host family and friends this Christmas, I GOT to. I am blessed that I have them.

My husband didn’t have to shovel the driveway, he GOT to (it was warmer supporting him from inside the kitchen window I’ll admit). He/we GET to shovel the driveway of the house we own that provides shelter when so many others are homeless.

Now, you give it a try :

You don’t have to go to work, you GET to work in order to feel secure.

You don’t have to call an elderly friend to wish her a happy birthday. You GET to brighten her day and remind her that she is cared for.

You don’t have to bring your son/daughter to hockey practice or confirmation or the park. You GET to take them and feel blessed to have kids when there are so many, myself included, who always wanted to have their own children.

I will close with some of my own, favorite GET tos:

I GET to parent the most wonderful step-son in the world and wouldn’t trade him for anything; and I GET to be married to my loving husband. I also GET to pick up his socks occasionally when he leaves them as he is probably out shoveling the driveway of the house that we GET to call home.

Now, GET to it!

Blessings to each one of you in 2019 and always,


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