Sometimes the words don’t come as easily. I can feel them in the back of my throat, wanting to come out, but just so jumbled that I know that they’re not going to make sense and I need to wait until I can sort them out. This is one of those times. I feel like I have something important to say, but I just don’t know how to say it other than, stop waiting, nothing is promised, say and do what you need to, and tell those you love how you feel.
When I was younger, I wasn’t a big talker (okay, maybe I’m still not a big talker, but I’m a little better at least). It was a guessing game to figure out how I was feeling. And I did a lot of letting other people talk first before I said what I needed to say. And even when I waited for them, sometimes I still didn’t speak up.
Now I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of time to think and work on myself lately, and I’ve thought about a lot of my past relationships. Some of my memories are happy and still make me laugh or smile. Some of them, not so much.
One of the relationships I was thinking about was one I wrote about a few years ago. He told me he loved me, among other things, and I ended up crying and we fought and it didn’t end well. Well, I was thinking back to this last week, and it hit me. I never told him that I loved him back. He sat there, trying to be completely honest, and I couldn’t do the same. Would it have changed anything if I could have said it? Probably not, and I wouldn’t want it to at this point either. But I kept my feelings to myself. He never really knew just how I felt about him. All the fighting and the tears and the pain, and I never was able to be open and honest enough with him to tell him exactly what he meant to me at that time. Like I said, I wouldn’t want the end result to have changed, we just weren’t meant to be together, but there’s the thought that it could have erased or at least eased some of the pain.
How many relationships have I had like that? I can’t even begin to count. I wait for the other person to speak up, to tell me how they feel. I don’t want to take the chance of being hurt, so I say nothing. Or, I care about someone and say nothing and miss out on a relationship all together. I keep waiting around thinking it’ll just happen, but nothing is promised.It’s not just romantic relationships. It seems like the more I physically clean out and clean up my life, the more I clean up my stuff emotionally and really realize how nothing is promised to us.
As I cleaned out some stuff in my bedroom, I found a pile of my father’s shirts. As I picked them up and refolded them, there was a sudden flood of tears. If I had known that that Saturday would be the last time I would see him, I would have stayed late just to sit with him. I would have told him how proud I am to be his daughter. I would have told him that I finally understood all the times he was overprotective (leaving more than ten missed calls when I was out on a date). I’d tell him that I understood that all those times when he seemed to be upset over something small, that there was something bigger that I was missing. I’d tell him that his big bear hugs always made me feel better and there was nothing quite like them. I’d tell him that I knew that he had done his best for us and for himself. I’d apologize for all the stupid stuff I’d done over the years (the eyebrow piercing incident of freshmen year…) and tell him how grateful I was that God gave me the world’s best dad and that although I couldn’t have him for longer that I was lucky to have had him in my life for as long as I did. I’d tell him I love him more than words could say.
Nothing is promised in this life. There is nothing that says we’ll wake up tomorrow or live another twenty years. The only thing we have is right now, this very moment. We can spend it hiding our feelings or not speaking up for whatever reason. Or we can realize what we’ve got, and not expecting anything in return, tell people we care about how we feel.
It’s scary and sobering to think that at any moment, God could decide our time is up, and it could all be over. Would the people we love and care about know what they mean to us?To the people who know me personally and are reading this, words cannot say how much I appreciate your support. There are days when I am down in the dumps, but I swear I can feel your love and support and it helps me get back up and pull myself together. For each and every one of you, I can promise you that I have a special memory of you that makes me smile. I’m proud to have you in my life, and I know I’m lucky to have people like you.
To the people who know me less personally, you should know you’re special to me, too. To anyone who comes back here looking for love and support, you’ve got it. I send you love and light, and when you have a rough day, know that there’s someone out there praying for you.
Here’s to a great start to another week.