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When you love someone

Occasionally my LJ friends teach me something really valuable. In this case, it's something I knew already but a few of them really reinforced it. And the lesson is, if you love someone, tell them so. Sometimes I will end a phone conversation or an email with "Love ya!" I usually mean it to convey an affection that is more familiar than just liking someone. But my friends devilmiyu, redsgoddes and duskfrog say "I love you." when they end a conversation with me and I know they mean it. It makes me feel very special to know I have their love because all of them have been bounced around some by life and they don't give out their love easily. So when they tell me they love me, I know it really means something. And it reminds me to tell others I care about that I do love them. Because as they say, life is short. You never know when the next time you see someone is going to be the last and believe me as one who this has happened to, you don't want to have someone pass on without letting them know you love them. You'll wonder why you didn't voice your feelings for a long time and wish you had. In all likelihood, if you are close to someone they will already know your feelings. But by telling them you make sure.

Except maybe for when I was a little kid, my Dad and I have only hugged once that I can remember. It was at my Shawnee adoption and naming ceremony when Okema Whitehawk asked everyone to embrace and welcome the new adoptees. Otherwise, we shake hands. We don't tell each other we love each other. I think we can both feel it but we've never really bridged that gap and said it, or really hugged each other to show it. For a long time I've rationalized it by saying it's because the way Dad grew up, men didn't hug each other and I've tried to respect his space. Part of it is I think he'd be embarassed by it. I can remember we were at his sister's funeral in 98 and I saw him crying for maybe the second time in my life. I was standing behind him and instinctively put my hand on his shoulder. I meant it as a gesture of love and support but the look he gave me told me that's not how he received it. He looked confused by the gesture. So now we go on shaking hands whenever we depart from one another. Mom and I hug and tell each other we love the other all the time. My brother and I hug and say I love you as well. But I've never been quite able to crack the old man's protective shell on that one. I'm hoping someday soon to be able to.

Likewise if you have something to give to someone, go ahead and do it. Don't hold off waiting for the right time. The right time you envision may never come. They might move, they might die. You might simply lose track of them. Then sometime later you find this thing you got for them, which was supposed to express your feelings for them and it's too late. No time like the present. Don't worry about the situation being embarassing or that they might not like it. Give the gift and let the chips fall where they may.




( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)

beautifully written, dear one. I wonder about your dad. . .I bet that on some level he recognizes your gestures as loving and supportive. His previous patterns likely make it uncomfortable for him to fully acknowlege or receive, but I bet the more you show it tangibly, the more comfortable he will become. -just 2 cents.

love ya! (haha)
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
And I Love You too.

Jan. 6th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
His realtionship with his adoptive family was totally abusive. So I know he has a great love for his current family including me because he broke the pattern of abuse. Another reason I don't push him on the hugging thing. he and I don't argue like we used to which is another outward sign of his love for me. I'm not in a huge hurry to make it happen. But my folks are getting older so I don't want to wait too long.

Jan. 6th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)
Indeed, good advice. Here's to you, Mark. I love you, and I hope we can keep in better touch with one another.
By the by, I'm in California now, would you like me to get a rock for you and send it, like I was supposed to when I visited Austin all those years ago? Or would you like something else? I leave tomorrow, so I hope you get this before then :)
Jan. 6th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
I love you too man. If I could I'd ruffle your hair. Yeah a rock would be good.

Jan. 6th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
I can't speak for the others, but once again you have me pegged. It's uncanny sometimes.

I agree with everything you said. My brother and I weren't close in our adult relationship. He was amazed I was there taking care of him and voiced this to several people. He said "Dawn is being nice to me..." Mary, our friend told him "it's because she loves you. You are her brother, you've had your differences, but she loves you." I was really glad we got to share those last months together.

Same with mom. My mom and dad weren't huggie huggie either. In fact, I don't remember them saying "I love you" to me either. My dad died 2 days after I got married, I believe I told you that. What I didn't say was he had never hugged me. At least not that I could remember. He walked up to me as we were leaving that day and hugged me. I felt wierd and I know I didn't really return the hug full force. But it was what I had been taught. He was gone two days later. I never heard "I love you" from him. So I don't honestly know if he loved me.

I'm rambling. And this is your journal..sorry. LOL. In any case, yes, do make sure you get to say what you mean to. It is important. Don't have any regrets.

And Mark, I do love you. *BIG GIGANTIC HUGS*
Jan. 6th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
I love you too dear.

Jan. 6th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Forgot to say, this is the only thing I don't agree with in your post:

"Then sometime later you find this thing you got for them, which was supposed to express your feelings for them and it's too late."

I believe when you love someone, it's never too late.
Jan. 6th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
I meant too late to give it to them if they are gone.

Jan. 6th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
Hey, the guy I wanted you to look up? When I saw him three years ago, I had to drop him off somewhere to meet a friend when he was going back to Michigan... anyway, the story's not important.

When I dropped him off, I'm not too good at expressing myself, but I said I was glad he came by because he's one of the family to me, and that's way too long to go without seeing your family (he has no living relatives.) He took my hand and held it, couldn't say anything, but when he got out of the car I saw him wipe tears out of his eyes. Unfortunately, that's as close as an old metalhead and a young... kid... could come to an I love you, but hopefully we can run in to each other one more time.

This made me think of that situation. Not everyone is as random, but people come and go and no one really knows when it will happen. The older I get (and I am fairly young, I'm glad I'm learning this early) the more I realize it's important to tell people stuff like this, hard as it is for me to make a big deal of things.

So.... thanks! I never did get ahold of him, all those phone numbers are old, I hate to think where he is right now. But he may resurface and track us down, he has a talent for that. I'll keep trying, I guess.
Jan. 6th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
I started paying for that service occasionally to locate old friends from high school. Some people get lost from people they love through no fault of their own, you just lose track sometimes. Otehr people don't want to be found and they are careful not to leave a trail. I've got a friend from high school I'd love to find but even that service has not helped me. I get old addresses for his mother and such. Lots of my friends from HS went into the intelligence services so it could be he did the same and that's why I can't find him.

But now when I meet people that I know I have a connection with, I make sure I tell them how I feel. Maybe that's the glue that will hold the two of us together years from now when we start to lose track of one another.

Jan. 6th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
The Go Gratitude program gave me an assignment . . . for the 9 days, select one person and pour out all your love and gratitude.

I writing 9 letters. I've done these sorts of letters before (often with people like your dad) and I find they're the sort of thing nobody ever says anything about, but 20 years later you find out they carry it around or something.

I'm a couple of days behind getting started, because to do 'em I have to get straight within myself. It's hard work to really say thanks because to really do it there's a needful inventory in me of places other people fill so gracefully that the most important aspects due for gratitude don't get noticed.

Love's the same, only different. It's whole 'nuther kind of tenderness that takes some careful inventory to find the places that love with a particular person reshaped.
Jan. 6th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Exactly. and sometimes I don't even think about it until I consider what life without those people in it would be like and then I realize I may not have told them how grateful I am to have them in my life.

Jan. 6th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
My thoughts weren't original


Jan. 6th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
I don't mind, it was original to me. But thanks for the links.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )