Thursday, August 23, 2012

Always Say I Love You

Today is a hard day for me. Just a couple of short years ago I went to bed on August 22 married to  a great husband and father, and woke up on August 23 his widow. The grieving process seems to be taking me a very long time-but as my therapist says it takes as long as it takes. Part of the problem is that so much else has gone wrong in my life since my husband was killed, but that is a subject for other days.

Today, I will grieve, but I will also know that I am surrounded by the love and caring and support of family and friends and even a few strangers. Today, in the midst of my grief I will temper the sadness with remembering the good, sharing the blessings.One of the most difficult parts of being a widow, is that there is no one to talk to in the middle of the night. Mr. Bill and used to talk to each other for hours at a time. We were very much blessed by being very much in love, but we also genuinely liked each other.

One of the things that made our marriage good was that we talked to each other. If I were giving advice to those getting married it would be to set aside time every day-no matter how busy or hectic your life can get-to talk to each other.Talk about your life, talk about your dreams, talk about the weather-but talk to each other.The other advice I would give is never end a conversation without saying I love you.

Now, I know that sounds a bit contrived, but Mr. Bill and I never regretted making it a rule for our life. Believe me, many,many minor disagreements were settled with just those 3 words. Major disagreements brought into focus, routine conversations made sweeter.It was such a habit for us, that if a phone conversation ended without it being said, we immediately called back.It was a habit that we extended to our conversations with our son-much to his chagrin sometimes. But, hey, isn't it a parents job to make their teenage son squirm?

But doesn't constantly saying I love you trivialize the sentiment? Doesn't it change the 3 most important words in the language into something less meaningful when it simply becomes a habit? My answer is HOW? How can you ever make love not meaningful. I grew up in a home where the words I love you didn't exist, and when I finally found love I knew never to take it for granted. Never. I remember the first I knew what love truly was, and the overwhelming sensation that enveloped me. Not something I would ever be able to take for granted. That was one of the reasons Mr. Bill and I made it a habit to always say I love you, we knew that love was so important that we must never take it for granted.

On that August 22nd, Mr. Bill had started a new job, and we worked different schedules that day. He called me from his new job on every break. That was another one of our habits, we called each other on our breaks. That night, I was at home,and he called me on his breaks and lunch. The last time we spoke was about 11:00 pm. He told me he would be working until about 2:00am, and for me to not wait up. "Take your medicine and go to bed," he said, "you'll  wake up when I get home.I love you." My answer was "OK, wake me up so I can hear about your new job. I love you." I took my medicine and went to bed.

My husband coming home from work wasn't what woke me in the early hours of August 23rd. A Highway Patrolman knocking on  our door to inform me that my husband had been killed by a drunk driver on his way home from that new job is what woke me.While I will never forget that moment when I opened the door and what that highway Patrolman said to me, the more important thing is I will never, NEVER forget that the very last words my husband heard from me,and that I heard from my husband were I LOVE YOU.

Always tell those you love that you love them. Never let a conversation end without reinforcing that.Life can change in the blink of an eye, and if you didn't say it you may not have another opportunity. Make it a habit, make it meaningful, never ever take love for granted.

Always say I love you.



Celtic Muse said...

I love YOU, EB.

Andrea said...


My thoughts and prayers are with you this day.

mcq2u said...

Stories of the love between you and Mr Bill aways bring tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful couple. Your love story has had an influence in my life. Love to you!

Linda Tvedt said...

Beautifully said.. Love you too EB.

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