Karin’s Leadership Articles

Saturday Salutations: Just in Time

by | Jul 28, 2012 | By Karin Hurt, Communication

When I talked to Nancy about writing, she told me she had written a 300 page tribute to her friend, which she had never published. I encouraged her to share the short story as a Saturday Salutation.

Nancy is a Customer Service leader at Verizon Wireless, with a diverse background in sales, customer service, and operations. She enjoys decorating, family time and travel. She loves her job and thrives in the daily challenges and the fast-paced world we live in.

If you have a life-affirming story to share, please contact me at [email protected], we can turn it into a Saturday Salutation.

Do you ever feel as though life provided you a beautiful opportunity, just in time?

Has life every given you feathers?

My dearest, decade long friend and I had planned a girls day, shopping, lunch and catching up. I remember the day as though it was yesterday. As she walked toward me she was holding her back and walking with a limp.

She saw my look. “I just slipped on some ice in the parking lot, I am sure it is nothing.”

The day carried on; however the pain and discomfort were visible. I encouraged her to see the doctor right away. After 5 years of remission from breast cancer, she had been diagnosed with spinal and brain cancer. The condition was terminal. She had 3-6 months to live.

I was angry and sad. How could this happen to my friend: a beautiful mother, loving wife and a truly gifted individual?

Nancy’s children were 2, 4, 8 and 13 years old. Ashley 8 and Michael 13 had no idea of the news they were about to receive and the lifelong impact.

The holidays were quickly approaching and Nancy’s favorite holiday was Christmas, at this time she was at home in a hospital bed and could not walk the stairs. Thomas and I baked and baked for days as Nancy wanted to wrap Christmas cookies in tins and pass them to through the neighborhood as she always had. We achieved this mission and hand delivered each tin with the joy that Nancy would have wanted to personally share.

Nancy was amazing due to her selflessness and simple care for others, looking out for them before her own personal needs, even at such critical times in her life. Ensuring her children and family were cared for to the best of her abilities when time had simply run out.

In one of our last conversations I asked her how we would carry on, I relied on her for strength and guidance she had the answer right away. That is simple, “I will leave you feathers, to let you know you are at the right place at the right time.”

Time heals, memories are to be cherished, and her children are even dearer to me, when I see them I am overwhelmed with love.

Feathers are my reminder … I find them often, when I moved from my hometown to Atlanta, on the day I walked through the house for the last time there was a feather in the kitchen, just sitting there. I stopped in my tracks looked at it and smiled inside.

Yes, Nancy I was at the right place at the right time. You touched my life, just in time.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

1 Comment

  1. gregblencoe


    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story about your friend. I hope you keep finding lots of feathers!


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