It's hard to say "I love you." I don't know why. Perhaps because relationships are complicated -- and because those words are charged with so much emotion. Perhaps because giving is so much harder than taking. Perhaps because it drains away energy if the words are not returned.
What we feel for spouses, parents, children, friends and others who move us whether they know it or not often remains unsaid. Maybe love is just being there. Who knows?
Thank you is easier -- it doesn't have to be as gut wrenching. We can pass it off with a quick smile and move on to the next activity without reflecting on how we are all so interconnected. Scientists who explore the unknown, doctors who focus on repairing bodies and those special people who try to mend broken souls make our lives better -- yet we seldom know their names. It's the same for those who sacrifice their saftey for ours like soliders, policemen and firefighters.
In the early 80s, I was married and a mother. I was going to engineering school -- and I was still trying to make sense out of my troubled relationship with my father who had died in 1976. I was years away from understanding the dynamics of my own life, let alone his.
A tune, written and performed by a stranger, struck me and I listened to it over and over again. I picked it out on my guitar -- and hummed it as I was driving. I sang it in the shower -- and after the last note, I cried in the shower. It didn't give me peace -- but it gave me many hours of reflection.
In the end, I decided to treasure those around me for who they are -- not for what I wanted them to be. Easy enough for some, but a life changing event for me.
Tonight, when I heard that Dan Fogelberg died, I wanted to thank him -- but it was too late. I never knew him but he touched me once long ago. Thank you, Dan.