Have I told you lately that I love you? There’s nothing like saying it…and hearing it, or in my case this past week, reading it.
My sister, Kathryn, and I were not especially demonstrative with each other, not what we would call “mushy”. We did lots of things to show each other our love, but we weren’t much for actually saying it. It’s just how we were – so close but not so much the mushy types.
I was in Tennessee last month when Kathryn died and at her husband’s invitation, I took several books from her bookshelf and brought them home with me. One was a book of inspirational readings, by an author I’m not particularly a fan of, so shall remain nameless (here anyway, just ask me in person and I’ll tell you). Regardless, since it was her book, I began to read a couple of the chapters each day.
One day last week I opened the book and one of her old business cards popped out. On it she had scribbled a note. And I know for sure this note, while unaddressed, was for me. I know that because she signed it with a shortened nickname that only I called her. This was a beautiful gift to find, a healing gift. The note simply said “I love you with all my heart”.
Whenever that note was written and I’m guessing it was many years ago because of the old business card, at that time, in that moment, she needed to express it. I think my sister somehow couldn’t tell me her feelings, and that’s why she wrote that note. And I like to believe she stuck it in that book hoping I would find it someday.
My Godson, her son, got a tattoo last week, honoring his mother. It depicts an opened envelope with a note going into it that says “All the things I wish I said”.
Sometimes we’re just too busy and distracted, sometimes we just don’t think someone wants to hear it from us, sometimes we’re just “not that type” to speak what’s on our heart, in the moment. And then the moment is gone, possibly forever.
It’s said that grief is love with no place to go. This is from the Jewish prayers for the dead, and is called “Meditations before Kaddish”.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.
Jesus was all about the love, and his life showed us to not keep that love inside. Being disciples (yes that’s us) can sometimes be hard but this love thing doesn’t have to be. When Jesus died on the cross, love is what he left for us. So, say it, write it, give it…now.