One of my favorite phrases is, “Words are powerful.” Words can seal an agreement, make or break a relationship, lift my spirits to the max or cut me off in five seconds. One word uttered can literally stop me in my tracks with sheer amazement, delight, or disappointment.

Leap over to what may seem like a gap in writing cohesiveness here—my months of working on revamping my website. I know some folks could accomplish this in a few weeks, maybe days. But my website is like my child. I love it! It’s birthed from me, my ideas, my love of writing and words. This is not something I can accomplish in a few weeks.

It is the home base of my writing journey, my first book, Thinking of Miller Place, my writing seminars, my journey of sharing the power of words, and most recently, the nest for my second book, The 3R’s: Relationships, Remarriage, and Retirement.

Each page of this website has been drafted, culled, revised, rested, looked over. It has been a combination of organic work, letting it grow, and web engineering with The Webmaster, Paul Holze.

I gave up counting the number of times my web guru, Paul Holze, has reminded me, “You’ll need to hit that refresh option,” while we were revamping my website. We’d talk about a photo or format or text, his fingers would fly over the keyboard on his laptop. I’d be following on mine with the test site.

“I don’t see that change, Paul.” This is where the phrase came in, “You just have to hit the refresh option.” After his finger hovered over the little curvy arrow many times, I realized my help for refresh was up there on the right of my computer screen. After a while, I only needed the verbal ‘refresh’ reminder; I began to remember ‘refresh’ was a pretty neat tool to clean up the page and update the info, to be back in a familiar but better place in the process. Then, and this is where repetition is a treasure for learning, I began to think refresh while I was revising on my own.

Now another short leap over the computer cliff to the other side, my personal life. My brother-in-law died on Sunday. My testament to the incredible person and personality that was Paul Benson, is most definitely a subject for it’s own story/stories. My husband and I and my twin sister and Paul, her life partner, husband, and best friend have had a bond for over 20 years. Eileen and Paul have had a bond for longer than that. The last eight years altered these bonds when Paul had a stroke affecting his career, his communication and strength, their marriage. But we shifted our foursome to adapt to this. Eileen made the even bigger shift and devoted her life to taking care of and providing innumerable experiences for Paul when many professionals and other wives might have said, “There’s nothing else to be done.”

When Paul had additional medical issues we shifted again, fewer activities, less talk, more at-home visits, then hospice, and then when Paul had completed his life work and life review with Eileen, he separated from her, from us, from here, and he died.

The hospice nurse, who came to administer to Paul with Eileen at the end, said, “Now is when some people like to open the window.” Picture it. The bed by the window. Paul’s still body. Eileen standing next to him. The nurse gesturing to the window where beyond we can see a panoramic view of the Catalina Mountains at sunrise. The window slides open. It’s June. It’s hot. But somehow this is simply refreshing.

“Oh Paul, it’s been a while since you’ve felt this fresh air,” says Eileen. But I know we both believe Paul is now in a place where he can once again feel, see, and do all he has ever done and more.

Leap back over the gap. My friend emails me that a photo I posted on our Toastmaster website is not showing up.

“I think you have to refresh your computer,” I email her. And I sit and stare at those words. Refresh your computer. It can be that simple of a gesture. Hit the option button. Things will be clearer. Open a window. Take a full breath. Sit down. Don’t think. Simply be.

Refresh. Seven letters. One word. Return to different, but also familiar ground. The power of words.