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I Love You...

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Happy Valentine's Day!
February 14th, every single year.
Valentine's Day.

I always think of the words, "I love you!" when I hear "Happy Valentine's Day."
My kids and I end every conversation with those words.
It seems like a great way to wind up a phone call or a visit.
Strange, because I didn't hear those words when I was little...

Growing up on a farm in the wheat belt of the Manitoba prairies, my farm family was more concerned with making sure the crops came in and the cows got milked than they were with telling each other, "I love you." Rather, love was shown in the food prepared by my grandmother for the kitchen table. It resonated in the way my grandfather bragged me up to his neighbour, "She's so smart! This little one can count by two's...and she's only four years old! Can you beat that, Willie Norton?"

Love was quietly present in my good Sunday clothes that were hanging on the doorknob of my bedroom door, freshly pressed and clean as can be, waiting for me to slip them on for our Sunday trip to church and Sunday School at the Blaris Church, a country structure on a corner crossroad that held maybe forty people.

Love wasn't verbal, it wasn't heard and it wasn't written in lacy cards from the drugstore, but it sure as heck was present in every single thing that my family did for each other. From the smallest tender touch on my cheek to the largest roast beef dinner on the table, each member of my family passed the word along to the next person in need, just by the way they treated each other.

I may have not heard those words as a child, and sometimes I wondered why it didn't happen. But, now, as an adult with a little more understanding and a lot more wisdom, I know for sure that my family told each other every day in the way they treated each other, "I love you, indeed!"

Happy Valentine's Day...

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." ~ Zora Neale Hurston


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Comments (14)

nancyhol:

I think the old saying is true - actions speak louder than words!

Barb Cabot:

Dear Brenda, You are such a wonderful, warm and loving soul. I often think of you as such a wonderful role model for not only your family members but for all of us that are lucky enough to know you. You background and the strength you have gathered from your upbringing are the backbone and foundation of many a country. I love what you said about feeling the love even though it was not verbalized. This was a really nice and meaningful Valentine's post. Thank you.

Nancy,
I totally agree! Words can be easy to say, actions take effort.
Still, I started with my kids when they were infants, whispering, "I love you sooo much!" into their ears while they slept in my arms...wanted them to know above anything else that they were loved and that it mattered that they were in my life. Of course, you can tell I adore them!

Barb, Barb, Barb!
You are too good for my soul!
Thanks for your wonderful words, girl...makes me cry, but in a good way.

candi:

Brenda,
I know exactly what you mean. My family are not the "I love you" kind of people, and even though I always felt loved, as a kid I always wondered why my mom or dad never say it to us. So, as an adult, one time I asked my mom how come she never said "I love you" to anyone, and my mom said" Why do I need to, didn't I feed you every night, and washed your clothes and stayed up with you when you were sick?"

Great post, Brenda. And probably true of the biggest majority of post WWII families.
Back then, I think the unspoken was: "Of course I love you, I'm here, aren't I?"
And our role models were Ozzie and Harriet & Ward & June. You never heard them saying "I love you" to each other OR to their kids.

sheri:

Great post, Brenda. Reminds us that love is expressed in many different ways.

Deborah,
Yes, I think that's very true about all WWII families...my grandparents were totally focused on making sure there was food on the table, wood in the stove that heated the house in winter and clothes to wear. There was little room in their lives for the luxury of emotion. On the rare occasions when they had the time and there was a break in the action of everyday living to actually feel something and to express it, they would run a hand over my head or settle a fresh-from-the-oven cookie into my waiting hand. That was their way of saying, I love you, dear child."
It was a grand and glorious way of saying it, I think!

Sheri,
Thanks for your comments! It is something that I need reminding of, more than occasionally...my grandparents passed when I was still too young to appreciate and understand their lives. That's my secret sorrow...

Candi,
You are so right! My grandparents would have reacted the same way, if I'd have been brave enough to ask them.

jgk:

sending a little love your way...

Wendy:

A wonderful and lovely memory. Thank you for sharing it.
I always felt love is where you can find it. Obviously you found it everyday, even if you didn't realize it at the time.
Hugs and love to you.

jgk,
Thank you so much...
right back at ya!

Thank you, Miss Wendy,
Always thoughtful words from you...I know, more as I get older, just how much they truly loved me, words or no words. Amazing...

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