Luv U More

My oldest son and his paternal grandmother have a little game they play whenever they say “goodbye” to each other.  “I love you more.”  “No, I love you more.”  “I love you more.”  “I love you more.”  And on and on they go.  And what I love is that I have raised a son who is so comfortable in voicing his affection.

Twenty-four years ago this month my dad died suddenly and unexpectedly.  Because of the abruptness, I did not know when I had last told him that I loved him.  I was sure I had.  But when?  And was he listening?  And had I said it enough?  And did I hug him?

Now I make it a point to tell people in my life that I love them.  I tell them seriously.  I tell them casually, like at the end of a phone call.  I tell them with abbreviations at the end of a text message or email.  I tell them with secret codes that we made up together.  I tell them in greeting cards.  I tell them in care packages sent to college.  I tell them out loud with those three little-yet-huge words:  “I love you.”  I tell them with slang:  “Luv ya.”  I tell them with questions:  “You know I love you, don’t you?”  I tell them with qualifiers:  “I know I don’t tell you often enough…”  When my boys were little I told them with song:  “I love you.  A bushel and a peck.”  I want them to know.  If there is nothing else sure in this world, they can be sure that I love them.

So hug your children, kiss your significant other, call your parents and siblings and grandparents and more.  Whisper in their ears.  Say it loud and say it proud.  Tell them over the phone or via webcam.  Write a letter or send an email.  Make a  YouTube declaration.  Say it with sign language.  Tweet it or write it on their Facebook wall.  Tell them that you love them!   Tell them today, even if you’re mad that they didn’t take out the trash or that they put a dent in the car or that they left the toilet seat up.  Let them know that your love is unconditional.  And love them unconditionally.

Don’t assume that they already know and it doesn’t need to be said.  Don’t wait until tomorrow because you never know what will happen today.  Don’t wait for them to say it first.

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”  Elbert Hubbard

Note:  If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you may recognize much of this – it is adapted from a post last year.  Apologies for repeating myself but, as I lit a candle to remember my dad this week, I thought it was worth saying again:)

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45 Comments

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45 responses to “Luv U More

  1. indeed it was worth saying again.

    I try my hardest to do this every day and remember not to take for granted the small things as I may look back and realize they were the big things.

    Carla

    • Karen

      And I think it is harder or less natural as we get older. Why is that one more thing that kids seem to do so easily but we forget as adults?

  2. How beautiful. My husband and I used to do the I love you.. No me more bit. Except he taught me in arabic.
    Ana bahabak – I love you.
    Ana Aktar – Me, more. 😉

  3. Karen, I don’t believe you can say tbis word enough. Determined to live a life without regrets, I try to tell my family and friends how much I love them as often as possible. Luckily I got to do so with my dad before he passed away 10 years ago too. You really honor your father’s memory with this post!

  4. Another OMG! moment with you – I used to sing Bushel and a Peck to my kids when they were little! (I was in a Guys and Dolls production in high school:)) I agree with you that you can’t tell people you love and appreciate them too much. It’s important and makes both ends of the conversation feel good. Have a great w/e.

  5. OH! I play that same game with ALL my kids…Now it has morphed into “to the moon and back!” Saying I love you OFTEN falls into my NO REGRETS category!

    AND YES!

    Most certainly worth repeating…over..over..over again!

  6. And now you have me singing a song in my head… “I love you a bushel and a peck, you bet your pretty neck I do.” Oh yes, the Guys and Dolls soundtrack is one I play VERY VERY often! I LOVE SHOWTUNES!!!

    Lovely post (pardon the pun). And so true.

    • Karen

      Funny thing is I have no idea how I even knew that song. Maybe my mom sang it to me? BTW – I don’t listen to music often but when I do it is musical soundtracks:)

  7. Always something good to be reminded of. My kids and I play the I love you more than game. 🙂

    (((squishy hugs)))

  8. sunnydaze

    Love it and I totally agree. I tell my DD many, many times a day.

    This morning before I left for work I wrote an I love you message to her on the chalkboard in my kitchen.

    Thanks for the nice post. 🙂

    • Karen

      Mine is close in age to yours and there is something about him leaving the house each morning that makes me feel a need to say it as he goes out the door. I guess there is that little fear about him getting into a car accident or something. I hate when he leaves the house and I haven’t said anything.

  9. Darla

    Totally agree – and I do it.

  10. That’s the last thing many of us say to our loved ones upon parting, for that very reason…but the point is to make sure they know it in our actions and words, every day. Great post!

  11. Jan

    This message can never be repeated enough – ever, never.

    • Jan

      Oops – hit the submit button too soon.

      After my mother died last year, the kids asked our 83-year old father promise to end all of his conversations by saying that he loved us. Not that we didn’t know without a doubt. It had been Mom’s job to do “the words” and Dad said he never thought we needed to hear them. Wow, just wow. This from a man with a master’s degree in family therapy. And, yes Dad, we do need to hear them even though all of us are way past 40.

      Moral of the story, tell your family and friends that you love them every chance you get. Words matter.

      • Karen

        It is funny what we each take away from a loss of someone close to us. I guess funny is not the right word. But you probably know what I mean. There are certainly conversations I have had now with my mom that I would never have thought to have.

  12. Karen – hugs!!!!!!!!!!! I do understand this too & yes, you are so right. We never know when we will lose a person we love. My dad went into a coma & like you, I was trying to remember the last time I told him I loved him since at that time, they were living far from us.

    Yes, make each moment count.

    Thx Karen & the biggest of hugs to you as remember your dad.. xoxo

  13. Roz

    LOVE this post!!! A great reminder to tell those we love that we do in fact, LOVE THEM. Have a great day!!!

  14. Beautiful and very inspiring!!
    Wishing for your to continue spreading love and to receive much more in return.
    Happy friday!

  15. These little things we forget to do every day. Sigh

  16. Thanks for the reminder – this is so true. I grew up in a family that wasn’t overly affectionate and now I think my kids wish I would quit with all the hugs and kisses. I need to be better about expressing it to my parents and grandparents for sure.

    Thanks, also, for stopping by my blog today!

  17. Wow, you were young when you lost your Dad. That would be so hard–my heart goes out to you. I almost lost my Dad when I was 28 but he pulled through and is taking care of himself now (with my help). I grew up never hearing those words. I think some people just aren’t the kind who say “I love you.” And I think that is sad, as particularly when you’re young, you are so unsure of so many things and to doubt your parents’ love is a hard thing. So it gladdens my heart to hear how often you tell your boys that you love them. I do tell my husband often now, but don’t tell others often enough. I fell into the trap of doing many things the way they were done in my home. Since my family never used the words, I usually don’t tell them but I should. My Dad is able to repeat the words when I tell him I love him, and although my Mom never has, I’m sure it does help her to hear them at least. And I know she loves me now that I’m older and understand things a little better. Just because she can’t tell me that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t tell her.

    • Karen

      Funny thing is I can’t remember my parents saying it when I was growing up but I somehow felt it, most of the time, not counting those horrible teen years. But my mom sure lets me know now, in so many ways, and I consider myself very lucky:)

      I was in my early 20s when my dad died. I remember people saying how young he was but to me, in his early 50s, he didn’t seem young. Funny how perspective changes as we age.

  18. it is always better to tell someone a million times you love them then to not say and they be gone in an instane

  19. Well worth saying again. And again and again!

    Funny, I used to babysit a little girl and we had standard back-and-forth for her bedtime. I would ask, “How much do you love me?” Her reply was, “A bushel and a peck and hug around the neck; I love you so much it hurts me.” Only she couldn’t say her r’s and it came out “huuuts”. So sweet.

  20. Someposts needto be repeated fromtimetotime. Iwouldsay this is one of them. Great advise. I know it is advise I can use.

    Thanks for your kind words of support on my blog today; very kind!

    Have a great weekend!

  21. Nicole

    Love this post Karen!! I always tell my family and friends that I love them. Have a great weekend!! Luv 🙂

  22. I am SO glad you said it again because I didn’t know when you posted it the first time.

    I am so very blessed to both love unconditionally and to be loved unconditionally. I only recently lost my Dad (and even though he was 75, I still thought he’d live and love forever). But then I also realize that love doesn’t go away when someone dies…it just intensifies. That’s the awesome thing about love…it generates forever and ever and the more you love, the more love there is. There is nothing finite about love.

  23. I do it ALL the time too. Never a visit (of any format) occurs with a relative without uttering the words. ever. 🙂

    Good reminder, though!

  24. And always remember how important it is to back the words up with actions because actions really do speak louder than words. Yes, the words are of vital importance, but the actions are what give validity to the words.

    Great post, great reminder, great words. And as much as it’s possible to love someone you’ve never met, I love YOU, my dear sweet blog friend! (How corny was that?? LOL!)

    • Karen

      Oh you make me smile! Funny how we can feel such closeness and affection for someone we never met. I feel it too.

      I remember once hearing a country singer on Oprah’s show talking about his love for his wife. He said something like “Love isn’t something you feel, it’s something you do.”

  25. This is a lovely way to remember your father and encourage us to share our love. My husband started saying “love you” at the end of phone conversations and I get a little thrill everytime! I also like your Elbert Hubbard quote–he was the founder of the Roycrofters in the early 1900’s, a craft guild that made beautiful furniture and artwork. I went to his Roycroft Inn for my 40th birthday!

    • Karen

      My husband and I do that too when we talk on the phone. So if either of us hangs up without saying it, you know we are mad about something!

  26. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you lose a loved one, they are always in your heart. There is a song from Josh Groban that reminds me of this. There is a line that says something like “Deep in the stillness, I can hear you speak, you’re still an inspiration…” In some respect I think you’re father inspired you to write this post to remind others that you can’t say I love you enough.

  27. Beautiful post. My dad died suddenly about 20 years ago too. I’m sure my parents have told me they loved me, but I honestly don’t remember hearing it. My family does not hug or say I love you. DH’s family, on the other hand, hugs with abandon and they all kiss each other and say I love you all the time. It’s been almost a decade and I’m still not entirely comfortable with it. But my nephews? I tell them all the time how much I love them. I figure I have to start somewhere, right? My sister and I don’t want them to live the same kind of life we did.

    • Karen

      My family is much more demonstrative than my husband’s. I think it took him years to get used to it. Your comment reminded me of how nice it feels when my young nephews come up to me and hug me:) I have no trouble telling them how good that always makes me feel and that I love them.

  28. A great reminder, always. Thanks for visiting on my SITS day!

  29. Wow this really hit home for me today. We had an exchange student stay with us a couple of days in January before she could get into her dorm at the University. She and I have become good friends despite our age. She is from Brazil and we received a call today from some friends telling us that her father had passed away from a heart attack and the family had called her to come back home because someone was sick. So as I am writing she is traveling back home only to find out the her father has passed. My heart is breaking for her, I just want to wrap my arms around her and tell her how much I love her. Life is short don’t take your loved ones for granted. Hugs to all! 🙂

  30. I love that your son will express his love like that. We’re big on voicing our love for one another around here and I love it that way. Sometime’s I’ve found myself ending a phone call to a colleague or longtime acquaintance by saying “love you” by mistake–sometimes they say it right back! Love and hugs to YOU.

  31. Well said, and I couldn’t agree more. It may seem weird, but the best thing that happened to me when my dad had his first heart attack is that it brought front to center this very notion.

    We may like to think we have all the time in the world, but time is fleeting and unfinished business is DANGEROUS. I’ve had other reminders of this, and as dear people pass from my life, I’m forever thankful that I keep this thought front and center.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know we heal in time, but our losses never go away. My thoughts are with you.

  32. *hugs* My mom lost her parents as a child too and giving love and affection is so important to her since she didn’t have that from her parents (mom died when she was a baby and dad a few years later).

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