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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/105864-Your-Last-Chance
Rated: E · Article · Romance/Love · #105864
Don't miss your last chance to say *I Love You* to that someone special Here's why
Your Last Chance




         A very close friend of mine, in a short conversation early in December, 1999, commented that at Thanksgiving, when she told her mother that she was bugged because her husband wasn't there with her (he had to work), her mom responded with "Be happy you have a husband to miss". I've always been the sentimental and emotional type, so I identified with that thought since I lost my first wife and high school sweetheart 20 years ago this year (2000).

         When I got back to my desk, I sent that friend, who's in her 20's, the following note, and have since decided it's a thought that needed to be shared so others could enrich their own relationship:

         Your mom's right, you know.

         We have athletes of college age, and sometimes high school age dying on the fields of sport, younger than even you are. We have cancer claiming the lives of people of all ages, including young children. Be happy you have a husband to miss. As soon as you're both home tonight, give him an extra hug and kiss, and tell him why. Then make sure you say "I love you" each time the two of you are about to be apart. Whether it's for a two-day out of town convention he has to attend, an 8+ hour work day, or even something as ordinary as a 20-minute trip to the store. Say it even if he chides you for it. Every moment the two of you share together may well be your last, and you won't know that it is until it's too late. And when that time comes, you'll be glad you said that "I love you". Because it will have turned out to be the last time you had that chance, and you'll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you didn't miss that final chance to say it, and that he knew that you truly loved him, right to the end. And if your time comes first, the fact that you said it will comfort him.

         Make the most of your holidays together, dear friend...

         The "first wife and high school sweetheart" mentioned above was indeed my first wife and high school sweetheart, Linda. The "I Love You" idea was one that Linda and I incorporated in our daily lives, without exception, for a very special reason – her epilepsy. And yet, I could have been the one to go first. Heart attack, traffic accident, etc. So doing this was something equally important to both of us throughout our years together.

         Four weeks after we met, we confessed our love for each other, at 17. Five weeks after that, on Friday, May 13, 1966, we were returning to her house after seeing the Junior Class play at school. Physically shaking and stammering, wringing her hands, rocking back and forth in her seat, staring blankly at the floorboard, and terrified that in spite of our mutually declared love I would walk away and leave her like many of her other friends and classmates had done when they found out, she told me of the epilepsy. She felt she had to; I'd asked her to be my date for my senior prom, and at our school that was an all night affair that included a theater party. And with that much time together and lack of sleep anything could happen. I immediately, but gently told her it made absolutely no difference in how I felt about her; that I loved her too much to let it make a difference. It was as if she didn’t hear me or couldn’t believe I’d really said those words. I got no immediate reaction. I had to repeat those very same words again after we reached her house, as we stood on her porch before she could even begin to let herself believe I'd really said them. When she finally realized I really had said those very special words, she melted in my arms.

         A single week later, barely ten weeks after we'd met, on the afternoon of my senior prom, Friday, May 20, 1966 I asked Linda to marry me. She squealed “YES!” at the top of her lungs before I could say another word. She graduated a year later. We were married in Newport, Kentucky on Friday, August 16, 1968 (legal age in Ohio then was 21 and my folks wouldn't sign).

         She passed away on Monday evening, March 3, 1980 during a seizure when she struck her head on the tile wall in our bathroom. She was only 30; I was 31. I wasn't at home. But when I walked in and found her later that night, I was never more relieved and thankful that we'd made saying those "I Love You"s a very important part of our life. There was absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind that she knew, right to the end, how deeply I truly loved her.

         The depth of love that she felt for me throughout those years was equally far above any doubt. Two years before she died, after one of our very few heated arguments, when I got home that night she handed me a letter and silently sat down in her chair. She’d always said she had better command of words on paper than in verbal conversation. After responding to the things that had been the subject of the argument, she ended the letter with these words, which showed that nothing, not even a heated argument as we’d just had, could dim the love she felt for me:

         “Believe it or not, I would give up all I have for you, because I love you. I would give you up only for the Lord. He knows that. I love you so much I can’t express it. If it would make you happy, I’d die. Please accept my apology. Love, Lin. P.S. I love you”

         I still have the original of that letter.

         Even though we both expressed our love in many, many ways throughout the short time we had together, we never stopped saying those most important “I love you”'s. They became an immediate, yet steadfast reminder of the deeper, more intimate ways we’d expressed our love over the years. Those three words took so little time to say, yet they brought to mind vivid memories of things like the end of that letter where she showed so well that nothing would ever dim her love and devotion. Those three short words brought years of memories to mind in seconds and let us relive our devotion to each other in the blink of an eye. Yet they were also wonderful reminders that the other person was thinking about us with that same love and devotion in mind as recently as when those three little words were just spoken. Those three “little” words, used properly, and honestly, can give meaning to a relationship that will last a lifetime.

         From the day we met (Tuesday, March 8, 1966) to the day of her funeral (Friday March 7, 1980), our relationship spanned EXACTLY 14 years, to the day, 11 1/2 of it as man and wife.



         Think about those three wonderful words. Don't let the precious opportunity of saying them that last time slip away in your life. Don’t miss Your Last Chance.





"There’s a new world somewhere, they call the Promised Land,

And I’ll be there someday, if you will hold my hand.

I still need you there beside me, no matter what I do,

For I know I’ll never find another you.



There is always someone for each of us they say,

And you’ll be my someone, forever and a day,

I could search the whole world over until my life is through,

But I know I’ll never find another you.



It’s a long, long journey,

So stay by my side,

When I walk through the storm you’ll

         be my guide, be my guide,



If they gave me a fortune, my pleasure would be small,

I could lose it all tomorrow, and never mind at all,

But if I should lose your love, dear, I don’t know what I’d do,

For I know I’ll never find another you.



But if I should lose your love, dear, I don’t know what I’d do,

For I know I’ll never find another you, another you, another you.



--- "I'll Never Find Another You"

         Recorded by the original Seekers in the 1960's.







"In your arms is where I long to be,

Holdin' on, to memories,

Holdin' on to things that used to be,

Holdin' on to you and me.



Oh, I miss your tender kisses,

And that smile upon your face,

And my heart will know no healing,

There's no one else to take your place.



In my heart, is where you'll always be,

Holdin' on, to memories,

Holdin' on to things that used to be,

Holdin' on to you and me.



Oh, I miss your tender kisses,

And that smile upon your face,

And my heart will know no healing,

There's no one else to take your place.



In my heart, is where you'll always be,

Holdin' on to you and me."



---- "Holding On",

recorded by the Statler Brothers





I’ll go to my grave, loving you, loving you, loving you,

I’d give all I’ve saved, loving you, loving you, loving you,

And should I ever live again,

Even then it won’t end,

For I’ll go to my grave loving you, loving you, loving you.



Oh, to take his place forever,

There’s nothin’ I wouldn’t give.

I’d prove to you daily

What a man really is.



I’d lay down my life, loving you, loving you, loving you,

I’d work day and night, loving you, loving you, loving you, loving you,

And when life called us both Above,

Honey, you’d know that you’d been loved,

For I’ll go to my grave loving you, loving you, loving you.



And when life called us both Above,

Honey, you’d know that you’d been loved,

For I’ll go to my grave loving you, loving you, loving you.



--- "I'll Go To My Grave Loving You"

         Recorded by the Statler Brothers























© Copyright 2000 Incurable Romantic (jwilliamson at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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