Earlier this week I wrote about how I considered writing anniversary and birthday cards prior to my brain surgery. I discussed how this was similar to what Alden Mills, a former three-time Navy SEAL platoon commander did prior to his deployments with writing final letters to his loved ones.
Hopefully you or someone you love will never be faced with brain surgery or a similar situation as a Navy SEAL. However, while contemplating writing a final letter after watching that TEDx video, there is something that’s much easier that all of us can and should be doing on a daily basis.
It’s simply saying “I love you.”
We have always heard that we should say “I love you” before saying goodbye to our loved ones, whether that’s on the phone or in-person. The reasoning is that they may be taken away from us in an instance and if we were to lose that loved one, at least we were able to express our love for them one final time.
While this is just a phrase for many, this became my reality when my mom passed away during my senior year of high school, just 5 months after losing my dad.
Most teenagers go through that tough phase with their parents but our relationship had its moments of being even more strained. I had to shoulder more than most teenagers ever will due to her inability to work and going through times of being bed ridden.
On March 16th, 2000 I had walked out of the house to hang out with a friend while saying some unsavory things to her, and then closing the door hard behind me. While waiting for my friend to show up, I took a deep breath, turned around, remembering what she had instill in me, and told her that I loved her.
Those would the last words that I would ever have the chance to say to her.
On that fateful day, after years of dealing with Lupus, while I was out with a friend, each of her major organs failed putting increased pressure on her heart causing a massive heart attack. I would later find her dead in her bed when I came back home.
As can be imagined, it was a devastating blow and one that no teenager should ever have to experience. This is why I tell those in my life how much I love them every time I talk to them or see them.
If you take one thing away from what I write, let it be this: tell those people in your life who you love exactly what they mean to you because you never know when they could be taken away from you.