On a fine Tuesday afternoon of the previous week, I decided to send a text message to my father to express how I had been feeling the whole day. My stomach, although full, had been rumbling non-stop since that morning. It was as if the little people residing inside my tummy were revolting, banging my stomach wall as if they were hitting a base drum. It wasn’t much of a big deal if I hadn’t visited the bathroom four times already before attending my three o’clock class and the paranoia of a possible diarrhea as well as dehydration sooner or later. [Hence, an emergency message to my father.]
As usual father responded in no time, asking me couple of questions such as how I was feeling and the things I ate since I got out of bed. I received another message telling me what to do and the medicine I had to take. At the end of his text was the usual, “Take care. I love you,” which always accompanies his messages– ALWAYS. Then a phone call from him followed, which actually was a vocal version of the message he sent me.
It is a common thing to hear my father as well as my mother verbalizes the words “I love you”. It is in fact the catchphrase in our house, thrown here there every single day as if it is bread that sustains the body. In fact, the sun won’t set without it being uttered.
The frequency of my family’s use of it makes me question the weight we put into these words. It is not that I doubt the genuineness of my parents’ love for I know in my heart that the reality of that love is truly unconditional. It is the constant use of the phrase “I love you” that somehow made me rethink of its value.
Do we really need to say it out loud each day? Why do my parents always say I love you?
Believe it or not, we don’t miss out on expressing I love you, most especially before my brother and I left for college. Before going to school we bid our goodbyes to our parents with a hug and with, “I love you” which they return in the same manner. Even before going to bed, we exchange our “I love you” as if it will give us a better sleep. Now that my brother and I are living far from our parents, “I love you” reaches us through text messages, Facebook e-mails, and phone calls.
Maybe it is a habit that my parents formed that it has become more of a routine than a real vocal expression of their love for us. Sometimes I wonder if the regularity of the expression makes it lose its value like machines that gets worn out due to excessive usage.
At one point I decided to stop saying “I love you” out loud in the fear that it will lose its shimmer sooner or later. But my parents never ceased in expressing their “I love you” for me despite everything. And as they continue to articulate “I love you” I felt the words became more substantial. The frequency of the phrase’s utterance is like carbon atoms that bonded together and solidified into diamond which doesn’t lose its luster even in incessant use.
That was the moment I thought that maybe it isn’t just a practice that they have gotten used to; that it is in fact their way of explicitly asserting their love for my brother and I.
It may have become cliché, but atleast my parents never get tired of affirming their love not just through action but also through words. Words and actions go hand in hand; I am glad that my parents let me know that they value me.
The world never runs out of love, so why be afraid of sharing it and giving it out?