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Always, always, always…

Always, always, always say I love you.

I made it a point, as my parents grew older, that I never ended a conversation with them without saying I love you. Even if Mom and I had a fight, which was often, I would end the conversation with “I love you”. Because, even if I was mad at her or she was mad at me, she was my mom and I did love her.

My dad and I started saying that when I was older and left home. Not so much when I was growing up but, when we just communicated by phone, we always ended our conversations with “I love you”. With him it was easier because we didn’t argue too much. We tended to agree on most things and, if there were differences, we would agree to disagree. And then say “I love you”.

You never know when the last time you will hear a loved one’s voice. You never know when their life will end and it is such a comfort to know that the last thing you ever said to them was “I love you”. I speak from experience.

The night my mom died, I had a message from her on my phone. She needed to speak to me about something she wanted to buy. I was on my way to a friend’s house for dinner but I took a moment to call her. I’m so glad I did. After I convinced her to let me buy the thing she wanted rather than have her spend her own money, I told her that I had to go because I was going to be late for dinner. She said she had to go too because she was making herself a meatloaf and had to get back to it. I said ok and then I said “I love you”. She didn’t say anything. The phone just went dead. I remember standing there looking at my phone and thinking that was odd because she always said “I love you” back. I thought for a second about calling her back right away but I really was late for dinner and I just figured I would give her a hard time about it on Sunday when I called her again.

Unfortunately, I never had the chance to call her again. The reason she didn’t say “I love you” was because she had died. Somehow on her way to the floor, she manged to hang up the phone. But she died pretty instantly and that was it.

So, always, always, ALWAYS tell those you love that you love them. You just don’t know. I am so very glad that the last thing my mother heard on earth was that I love her.

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