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It is simple and yet the most profound word in any language. And I grew up in a household that used it often and with emphasis. A phone call was never ended without at least "love" to close it out. If we didn't have time to say all three words, we said at least the one with the most impact. Not I. Not you. But Love.

On Saturday, I did that tortuous thing people sometimes do after they lose someone...I read every last text message that had saved in my phone between my mom and I. And there was barely an exchange that did not include "love you mama", "love you Haddles" or simply just "love". That was nearly two years of messages that had saved, and though she was never huge on texting, when she did, there was always a reminder that love was behind every message. Even when the messages she sent had to do with asking if I liked certain outfits that I knew she was asking because she was considering buying them for me. My response to do you like it? Was a definitive, "I do not" and then followed by "love" after that.

My partner and I do not leave each other without saying it. I will leave for work, or when I leave town or even when go to the grocery store and say on my way out the door "I love you" and I will call him from the store to ask a simple question and before we hang up "I love you" will be exchanged. We do not stop to remind each other we are loved.

When I hang up the phone with many of my best friends, I hang up with I love you's or simple love you's. I have friends who say "I love you more than my luggage" and some that simply say "I'm here for you" or "let me know if you need anything" . Text exchanges can end in "XO" or even simply "miss you".

Reminding people that you love them, on the daily, it's important. Because if I've learned anything about losing my mom and both of my hounds, is that not for a second, have I ever questioned them knowing how much I loved them or how much they loved me. So the hounds didn't say "love" or send messages with xo, they made sure just as simply and effortlessly as my mom did in letting me know I was loved. And mom, without question, no matter what she didn't say, she always said that.

So remind those you love that you do, in fact, love them. Every day. Because she can't say it to me to my face, in my ear, through a text message anymore, I chose to get a tattoo in her handwriting every day on my wrist and be reminded. And in case you needed to be reminded too...Love you.

Remind people you love them, every day.
Mom's handwriting tattoo

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May 30, 2023
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