One Small Phrase with Big Meaning
Three words, three syllables, a phrase so simple yet so powerful. It carries so many meanings and can stir up a number of emotions. This little phrase says so much when all other words have been exhausted.
“I love you”. I didn’t know the importance of this sentence nor did I say it to anyone other than my parents until I was about 12 years old. My very loving family said it often to one another but I never truly understood its significance until this very sad but important part of my life.
I grew up with my grandparents in my home. They took care of my siblings and me while my parents were always working very hard to provide for the family. I was never one to say “I love you” but I was always surrounded with love. I was blessed with a very loving family who all lived very close and were always there for one another.
It was June of 1997 and my grandfather had gone to the Philippines to visit distant family. We all thought it was just a normal trip, one that he took every now and then. We said our good-byes and he went on his way.
I remember it was late night and my sister and my mother had just come home and sat me down in the living room. I already knew something bad had happened from the look on their faces. I immediately thought of my grandfather because in that moment, I just knew. I broke down in tears as they explained what happened. He had heart issues that he should have had surgery for but it was too late and his heart had given up. He was all the way in the Philippines away from his immediate family when it happened. The thought that he was alone was hurtful. This was the first time I ever fealt real heartbreak.
They were having his body shipped back to the U.S. to be with his family and from what I remember, the funeral was a couple weeks after he had died. This was the first funeral I have ever attended and it was scary and so sad. As I sat in front of his casket, all I could think was how I never got to tell him how much I loved him. He had done so much for me and i never got to say how much I appreciated him and how much I cared. This is a regret I think about every now and then because everyone deserves to hear and to know that they are loved.
The funeral was a large procession because he was a veteran. This was also the first time I realized how blessed I was to have such a large and loving family. It was eye-opening to see all the love that surrounded this wonderful man on this very sad day. All there to pay respects and be there for one another, I felt very sad but at the same time protected and supported.
He died with no immediate family around him. We all didn’t expect this would happen and I wish my last words to him were “I Love You”. After this experience, I understood the importance of telling my loved ones that I do love them especially when we say our good-byes. You never know if it will be the last time you get to see them. And God forbid it was the last time, wouldn’t you want your last words to anyone you love to be as beautiful and powerful as that?
“I love you” is such a beautiful phrase and says so many things. You say it to someone to let them know you adore them, you care about them, you want them to be happy, you support them, you are thinking of them, you wish them well, you are here for them, you cherish them, you are grateful for them, and so much more. Three little words can say all of that. It’s facinating to think that such a little phrase can hold so much weight and healing power.
Imagine someone you love is in the hospital and healing from a very invasive surgery. They are in so much pain and are starting to feel helpless. You utter the words “I love you” to let them know you are here for them, you care for them, and that they aren’t alone in this. It can give them hope and strength to get through this difficult time. Something so small can be so big in moments like these.
But should that be the only time these words matter? No, they shouldn’t be used only as remedies. It helps people you love get through difficult times but it should also be used as gentle reminders of all I mentioned above and more. It’s a simple but complex sentence that can make your loved ones feel good. It can even make you feel good when it’s said. And that is the power of this phrase, it makes us happy.
Of course actions speak volumes but these words are equally important. My parents always made it a point to tell me they loved me and made it a point to show affection often. It’s something everyone needs from their parents and these are the same values that I intend to carry on to the family I will eventually build.
There really are no other phrases that are as impactful as these three words. You never really know when you will see someone for the last time, so hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. These three words will remind them that they are not alone in this world, that you care about them and they are in fact, very loved.