Entering my 20's brought a different perspective and I found that hugging and kissing loved ones was ok again. The "I love you's" though, somehow they were harder. I could put them in writing but whenever someone said those three words the best I could do was reply "me too".
The year I turned 30 was a tough one. I thought he would always be there but I guess Cancer had other ideas. Holding my dad's hand in his final moments, the words "I love you" were suddenly held hostage by my sobs. When someone is dying hearing is the last sense to go. I wish I could have found my voice that day and whispered those words to him as he left us.
His death was a wake up call in so many ways but saying "I love you" was an important one. It made me realize what a gift those three little words can be. Now I'm left wondering why I never said it more and if my dad were alive today I wouldn't hesitate to tell him how much I love him followed swiftly by a big kiss and a hug.
Happy Birthday Dad and thank you for the gift of "I Love You".