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Those three magic words … the ones I just could never bring myself to say.

Now I’m not saying that I didn’t feel the feeling, I was just always so shy and insecure and the proud owner of a large inferiority complex, that I never had the nerve to say it to another person.

Of course I felt love toward my parents … as a child does.  And I have no problem saying “Love Ya” to various friends … although that took a while. And once my children were born is was easy as anything to say and feel that kind of love. I constantly held my children as babies and said “Oh I love you so much.” And easily say it to them to this day. No problem.

il_fullxfull_434378303_2mi8But I was so backward that I once bought a book … a little yellow thing … in the 70’s … one of those Hallmark Books … entitled something like “What Is Love?”

Yes, I’m sure of it.

Just found a picture of the thing out on Etsy.com … and here it is.

I seriously figured that what I was feeling might not be love. And what I had felt for that crush all through Junior High and High School might not be love. Or the man I was dating in college.

That there might be something different.

But despite its assurances otherwise … and what I knew in my heart … I still didn’t actually say the words for a long time.

You would be stunned to know how few partners I have said those words to.

One person I said it to … because it seemed like the “right thing to do” … but not because I felt some great passion within. We were happily married for eight years. Unfortunately we were actually married for more like twelve years.

I learned to choose partners with my heart … not my head.

Not that I always followed that sage advice. Far from it. But at least I didn’t say “I Love You” unless I meant it.

Today is one of those “special days” … the anniversary of a day where I felt love more than I thought possible. A love which grew and grew beyond what I ever expected.

So what happens when the person you love so deeply … so much that the words “I Love You” don’t even touch how much you feel … what happens when they are gone?

I have been told by three people who have been and are in this same position that you never stop loving them. It never goes away. That some days … when you least expect it … the feeling comes roaring back out of nowhere … “rising unbidden” as it were.

And the single tear slips out of the corner of your eye … and rolls slowly down your cheek.

And you remember.

And you wish … with all your being … that they were still here … so you could look into their eyes … and say … “I Love You.”

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