I mentioned yesterday about a phone call I received on the way home from visiting my family. It was the unexpected, wish you hadn’t received it kind. Not because I wasn’t glad the individual who called had chosen to share with me but because I wish the news was not real.
Some years ago, about nine to be more precise, I worked for a very large company. While there, I worked with and for a gentleman whom I will call “John.” He had a daughter one year older than me, and in the time that I worked there, he became like a father to me. My husband and I attended his daughter’s wedding. The day that I left, I couldn’t stop crying, not because I was leaving the job, but because it felt like the end of a very important relationship.
It wasn’t, of course, although it felt that way at the time.
We have kept in touch over the years. He and his wife came to visit when my daughter was born. I have pictures of both of them holding her when she was a couple of months old.
The phone call yesterday was from him. In hindsight, I realize now he didn’t sound like himself.
He said he needed to share some information with me. He had just gotten out of the hospital on Saturday. He had been diagnosed with kidney and intestinal cancer. He was asking me for prayer.
The doctors think it’s curable, but obviously prayer is in order. Will you please pray for his healing and for peace for he and his family during this time?
We were about to hang up, and I thought I should tell him that I love him…but I couldn’t. You see, I didn’t grow up that way. Saying “I love you” does not come easily to me. As a matter of fact, there are only two people in this world for whom those three words roll easily off my tongue as if it were second nature, and that is my husband and my daughter.
There are many other people in my life whom I love dearly, and I would be heartbroken if anything happened to them, but I don’t tell them that I love them.
There are a couple to whom I will say “love you” before we get off the phone or before parting ways, but even that is an effort for me.
It makes me feel so broken. I do love them, and many others, so very much! So why is this so hard for me?
Last night when I got home, I was standing in the kitchen making dinner for my family and thinking about my conversation with John. I couldn’t help but think about how I almost told him I loved him but didn’t. It was the right thing to say. It was the truth. He probably needed to hear it, and I needed to say it.
My husband tried to reassure me by saying that he was certain that John knows, and I’m sure he does. But that doesn’t change the need to hear it. It certainly doesn’t change MY need to hear it.
God created each of us to love and be loved. He also created us with a need to be told we are loved.
Go find your loved one’s and tell them that you love them. Pick up the phone. Send an email, a handwritten note, whatever. Just do it. They’re waiting to hear, and aren’t we waiting, too?