There’s a meme floating around social media lately that’s says, “Tell your friends you love them. Tell them a lot. Make it weird.” I smiled a little as I read it. I have become that person. When cancer hit our home in October, life suddenly got a timeline and my confidence in the future was shaken. I was living my life like my next breath was a guarantee when in all actuality, we are not promised tomorrow. Not any of us.
I have heard countless stories over the years from friends and family who wished their last words with a loved one were different. Some parted with a disagreement, others in frustration, and some with plain silence. There are many others who spent a lifetime waiting to hear, “I love you,” from a mother, father, grandparent or sibling. So many lives filled with pain and regret. So much hurt.
As often as I can, I tell my boys I love them. I tell my husband, parents, and other family members, too. Our phone conversations end with, “I love you,” because I can’t ever tell them enough. But when cancer came, my circle grew. Not only did I need to tell my family that I loved them, but my friends needed to hear, too.
So now, I’m that weird friend from the meme that tells my friends I love them. I tell them a lot. And I make it weird. I move in first for the hug. I say, “I love you,” as I embrace them. I yell it across parking lots. I say it on the phone. And I put it in texts. I never want them to wonder how I feel about them. I always want to end with, “I love you.”
It’s crazy how a scary diagnosis can put things in perspective. I’m grateful for the way it has forced my heart to change and opened my eyes. There are so many people who I hold close to my heart and they need to know how valuable and important they are. They need to know they are special. They need to know they are loved.
So, tell your friends you love them, this week. Tell them a lot. Make it weird. No regrets. Always end with, “I love you.”