A Valuable Lesson

Ever since I can remember, the last thing I’ve always said to my family is “I love you” whenever I was going to leave, hang up or go to bed. It’s just what I do. My mom and my dad did it as well. That was just how they raised my sister and me.

I never really thought about it much. When I finished a conversation with my grandma, my aunt or a cousin, I always said “I love you” and then hung up. It became an automatic thing that I did. It wasn’t that I didn’t mean it, but it might have sounded that way to the people I spoke to.

As time went by I just kept saying the phrase. When I was a senior in high school my mom had to have a six-way bypass. During the long hours of the surgery I had a lot of time to think about things – kind of like your life flashing before your eyes. I thought about all the things I did to her that weren’t the best including not spending as much time with her as I could have.

Sitting in the waiting room of the hospital watching people go by, I thought about the last words I’d said to my mom. They were the same words I said to her every time I left the house, got off a phone call we were having or when I went to bed – “I love you.” Those three words, said so often to my family, echoed through my head. It was at that moment that I realized why my parents always said that phrase and why they made sure to teach my sister and I to say it any time we finished a conversation with a loved one.

It’s the same reason I still say those three words to my family to this day – because you never know when the last time you will get to speak to your loved ones will be. Should something happen to them, wouldn’t you want the last thing you said to them to be “I love you?”

This was a very valuable life lesson taught for me. I’ve never once regretted saying that phrase to anyone in my family. When my cousin passed away unexpectedly from a house fire, I knew the last thing I said to her was what really mattered. She knew I loved her.

So, please always finish every conversation you ever have with a loved one by telling them that you love them. It might seem like you don’t have time, or it might be seen as uncool by friends; but you’ll feel better about it after your loved ones are gone.

Angel Tracy has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of her life. She enjoys writing in all forms.

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