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Terri Simon

Parting words ...

I love you.

Thursday is Valentine’s Day. Like the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and the vases of flowers, those three words will be delivered across the nation to countless people. For some, the words will roll off their tongues with hardly any thought behind them. For others, they will arrive with great difficulty. For some, those three words will be delivered for the first time, and on the other side of Cupid’s proverbial coin, the words “I love you” will be uttered by some who have said them for years. And for those who are unable to wrap their lips around the words, you can pay Hallmark to say them for you. Either way, those three words will get a lot of play on Monday.

While there will be no shortage of the words “I love you” on Valentine’s Day, what happens on Friday ... Saturday ... the day after that ... and the day after that? As the chocolates in those heart-shaped boxes begin to vanish and the flowers begin to bow their heads, will “I love you” also begin to vanish and wilt?

We say “I love you” a lot in my family. With nearly every family member I have, we end our telephone conversations with “I love you.” And the relative on the other end of the line then says, “I love you too.” Without exception, that’s how every telephone conversation ends. It doesn’t matter how long we talk or the reason for the call. Before we hang up, we always say “I love you.” We don’t say it because we have to or because someone has said it to us. We say it because we mean it. It’s as simple as that.

Likewise, my close friends (men and women) and I always end our emails and/or text messages the same way ... “Luv U.” After all, we’re friends; we’ve been through a bunch of stuff together — thick and thin. We’ve laughed with one another, cried with each other, scolded each other, commiserated with each other ... We’ve had great times, awful times, fabulous times and just OK times together. We know each other inside and out. Of course, we love each other, so why not tell each other so?

While it’s easy for me to say I love you ... if I do, I know some who struggle with those three words. Ironically, it almost seems as if it’s painful for them to utter that simple phrase — a simple phrase filled with very complicated meanings, emotions and feelings. I feel sorry for those folks who struggle with the words “I love you,” especially if they mean it and can’t say it.

While I don’t throw those three words around carelessly, I have a simple philosophy for ending all my conversations/texts/emails with those three little words ...

Life can change in the blink of an eye. We know that. Each and everyone of us has heard the stories or known the people who head out the door to go to work or to go to the store ... and never come home. We’ve all heard the stories of the person who appeared in absolutely great health, but who never opened their eyes in the morning. I could go on and on about all the uncertainties of life out there, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

So what’s my point?

Whenever I talk to my family or dear friends, I want the last words I say to them to be “I love you.” After all, none of us ever know ... that might be the last time I have to tell them so.

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with those three little words ... and may there be plenty of “I love you’s” left over to fill all your days.

BCR Editor Terri Simon can be reached at tsimon@bcrnews.com.

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