The Power Of One Word

The late Ruth Hoyt was an RN at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, whom I worked with for many years. Known for her quick wit and wisdom, she believed in the power of words and always chose them carefully before speaking. She was an avid journaler, knowing that words could process emotions that could not always be fully realized through simple conversations.

At 57, Ruth was diagnosed with an aggressive form of uterine cancer. Her writing stopped suddenly. Confronted with the overwhelming emotions of death and dying, the once cathartic expression of journaling froze within her as she could not find words to digest and process her emotions. 

In the three months from her diagnosis to her death, Ruth only wrote two documents. One detailed items she wanted distributed to friends. The other was her final gift to those co-workers who were dearest to her. Ruth carefully chose one word for each person for a Giving Key and wrote that co-worker a special note to go along with it. Her plan was to take the group to dinner and give each person their key as a final goodbye. Sadly, she didn't live long enough to make it to that final dinner. 

I brought the group together, presenting each of them with their Giving Key and note. There were no words spoken as each person read their note and tears flowed as the power of one word touched each person’s heart and soul. The Giving Key is a treasure beyond treasure that each supervisor will always hold as an eternal connection to their friend and mentor.


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