Today, my family attended a funeral for Debbie Lovoy. Debbie was like a second mom to me and so many others. Debbie died at the young age of 58 & it was such a hard loss for so many. Just a few weeks ago she was in our living room jumping up and down during an Alabama football game with us & now she is gone. Debbie is the mom of one of my best friends Louie Lovoy and I remember sitting in their living room processing life decisions so many times growing up. She was amazing to me.
I wanted to write this post to reflect on what I heard today & share it in such a way that would extend her legacy as much as possible. The words below have the power to change your life & the lives of those around you. They aren’t my words, they are Debbie’s.
When I sat and listened to Debbie’s friends & family speak about her, there was a common theme. This theme was extremely simple but profoundly powerful. Her legacy was built on a few words that she said her entire life to others.
“I am proud of you.”
Debbie spent her life telling people these powerful words. She genuinely just was proud of people. She spent her life looking for reasons to believe the best in people. The best part wasn’t that she was proud of people, it was that she actually told people this. With her kids, she always looked for ways to be proud of them. With her grandkids, she was constantly telling them she was proud of them in the little things and on a consistent basis. She walked around daily & was looking for reasons to be proud of others.
The legacy she has left from these five words is amazing & here is what I’ve learned & maybe it will help you as well.
1. What You Look For In People, You Will Find
Debbie looked for reasons to be proud of people, that’s why she told so many people this. Everyday she woke up seeking to see the goodness of others. She was on the hunt for positives and always could find some way to say, “I am proud of you.”
As I process this, it challenges me to wake up tomorrow & just find the good in each & every person I meet.
2. Being Proud Isn’t The Same As Saying It
It’s so easy to be proud of your team, kids, spouse, or friends and never verbalize it. Today, I learned the power of the spoken word. Debbie literally walked around telling people encouraging things about themselves. Listening to her son, daughter, granddaughter, husband & friends today talk about how many deposits of belief she dropped into their life was truly inspiring.
As I sit here tonight, I feel challenged to make sure that every single person I meet knows a reason I am proud of them. Thinking it isn’t enough, saying it is where the power is.
3. You Can Only Be Proud Of Others When You Aren’t Focused On Yourself
Debbie loved to take pictures. I looked back at her Facebook page & I noticed something… She isn’t in most of them. In a world full of selfies & selfishness, Debbie lived focused on others. She was a behind the camera kind of person trying to always capture that perfect shot.
As I processed this, I started to see that the way Debbie could be so proud of others was because she wasn’t full of herself. Every person I talked to today talked about why they loved Debbie & it was simply because Debbie was always talking about THEM, not herself.
This amazing lady spent her life behind people & the camera trying to find the best angle to help them see their true value.
I will miss Miss. Debbie. I’ll miss being able to call her when I needed some advice. I’ll miss being able to watch Bama games with her. I’ll miss her taking awesome pictures that captured amazing moments. I’ll miss her laugh. I’ll miss her smile.
But the one thing I will not ever miss out on is knowing Miss. Debbie was proud of me. She told me time and time again & I am forever grateful for the investment of those words into my life & the lives of so many others.