Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Here is another email I received from one of the participants doing this project with me.

Sending Love – Day 1.
When Renee came out with this idea, I jumped at the chance to participate. I’m always looking for ways to stay in touch with my friends and family, and always feel like I never tell people how much I appreciate them and what they do for me. The words “I love you” have always been difficult for me to say to anyone but my husband, and even just starting the project has really helped me understand why.
Day 1 was by far the hardest day for me. I didn’t go into the project with any kind of plan, other than to send them out to people as I thought of them. The first people coming to mind? My parents. Of course, I love them, so why was this so hard?
Day 1 was so hard for me, I had the postcard sitting on my desk for a full day before I actually wrote it. It took me a really long time just to figure out how to send three simple words to the two people who have been there from the very beginning. Why? Well, because we just don’t say those words to each other! I think I’ve seen or heard my parents say the words “I love you” a total of four times in my entire life. When I graduated high school (in a card), when I graduated college (in a card), the first time I got married (in a speech), and once after I got divorced (on the phone! Directly!), I heard it. I mean, its assumed, and I know it.. but that doesn’t change that its really hard to say. We don’t really hug each other or show affection either, and when it comes down to it – I get frustrated with my parents very easily. My husband is convinced that it has to do with me never hearing those three little words from them, though I think it’s more about growing up in an overly strict household that I felt really stifled in. It really took a lot of effort for me to write it out to them, even though I know in my heart that I do love them. Well, my husband is probably right, and it’s also why I’m so darn awkward in situations where friends get all lovey on me. I’m just not used to it.
I considered not sending the “I love you” card and sending the “Good Deeds” card.. but decided that it would be a cop out. I can’t cop out on Day 1! That would be failure! So I tried to just mention the elephant in the room and keep it simply by saying, “Dear Mom and Dad, I know I don’t say it often, but I love you. Thank you for being there for me through all of the ups and downs, and through all of my mistakes and triumphs.”
I decided a long time ago that the only thing I could do to fix it is to not be the same way with my children. With that in mind, it felt strange sending it off in the mail. I kind of await an awkward phone call from my mom about it.. but who knows, maybe she’ll surprise me.

I love her honesty – this isn’t easy to do this.  People might think we are weird for telling them out of the blue that we love them, or they are important to us – to the world, or thank you for them being them. 
I have slowly started getting over caring if people think I am weird for doing something my heart tells me to do.  I sometimes catch myself not doing something because of this, then I take a deep breath and do it anyway – weird or not!

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