Some of the most devastating words in the English language strung together are “I never told him how much I loved him.”
Some years back now, I got a random email from someone I knew in high school. He told me that he had a crush on me and every time I would talk to him, he felt stupid and couldn’t say anything. I replied that I hoped he got over that because that is NO WAY to go through life. He has since gotten over it.
But not just in romantic situations, telling others what you think of them and appreciating them is never ever overrated. Has anyone ever said, after someone is gone, I wish I didn’t say how awesome they were so much? Like if I can just take back that one time I said they were the most wonderful person I know, I would be a better person? Um no.
So much of life depends on a red wheelbarrow… wait, strike that… I mean it depends on communication. With all the technology we have, we don’t communicate any better – I think we can all agree on that.
I grew up in a family that talked. We had “family meetings” and “discussed” our issues and aired our grievances, with love and mutual respect of course, until someone broke a bone. haha. just kidding!!! We were never violent. As adults, we still have lively discussions well into the night hours about all kinds of things. Whenever we start to disagree on something we have a family joke that it isn’t 11 o’clock yet – for awhile, it seemed we always got into heavy debates around that time of night. That said, we also made a point of celebrating birthdays ON THE DAY with little to no exceptions. As we’ve all grown up and apart, distance wise, we do try to keep in touch and we plan on holidays and vacations.
I’m saying all this to lay the foundation of the type of family I was raised in. We care deeply for and about each other. Family isn’t EVERYthing, but it’s a big huge chunk of it. And if you can’t be honest and upfront with your family, I strongly believe it will affect every other relationship you have.
I dated someone who had tremulous, at best, relationships with his family. They never talked about elephants in the room and they rarely would say “I love you.” If someone did say anything of the sort, someone else would say “what’s wrong? Did something happen?” It hurt my heart. But it seemed to suit him just fine.
Fast forward and I watched a dear friend fall apart last year. Out of guilt and shame, this person realized how unspoken and under-appreciative he had been of all he had, including loved ones and the creature comforts of life, and couldn’t deal with the sorrow of loss and the fear of the future.
What plagues us most in the deep dark of night? Regret? Fear? Or is it being alone? Or on the flip side, is it not knowing if people love you, need you, appreciate you? Do you lie awake wondering if anyone would care if you went away and never came back? Or do you worry that people who mean the world to you don’t know they do? Or maybe YOU don’t even realize they mean the world to you?
I share because I care. Bless your heart.
If loving people unabashedly is my greatest crime, then let me be burned at the stake! and you can make s’mores. mmmm s’mores…