There is something that I need you to help me with.
I need you to go to your Facebook wall right now and post the following message:
The one reading this.
I love you.
I just thought you should know.
You can copy/paste that if you want to. It makes life a little simpler. If you’re not on Facebook, you can email it. Or text it. Or call. Or write a letter. Or hire a skywriter, if you’ve got the cash for that sort of thing. Any medium works–just get the message out there.
Here’s the thing: two years ago today, at 11:11 a.m., we lost my father. I learned a lot of things on that day–that sometimes nurses cry when they lose a patient, that all my previous “worst days ever” were really only inconveniences at best, that friends will materialize out of the woodwork to come sit and cry with you–but the biggest thing I learned is that there is never, ever, ever enough time. There is always supposed to be one more day. There is always supposed to be time for one more conversation. There is always supposed to be an opportunity to say “I love you” one more time.
Until their heart stops, and the clock stops, and the world stops, and the story ends, and there isn’t any time, anymore, ever.
And what that means, at the core of it, is that we only ever really have this exact moment. You are living and breathing right this second, and the people you love are living and breathing right this second, and that’s the only guarantee you get–nobody’s promising anything about what will happen in the next second, or the second after that, so you’d better take advantage of this one.
Which means that this is an excellent time–no, it’s the perfect time–to tell your loved ones how you feel about them.
You can riff on the theme if you want to; you can embellish, or clarify, or specify. You can tailor the message so that it fits the circumstances of your particular relationship with a given person (“I know we haven’t talked in a while, but wanted you to know that I love you”, for instance; or “Don’t panic–this isn’t a marriage proposal or anything. It’s just me, saying that I love you because you deserve to know that you are loved”), but man, don’t let the moment pass without saying anything. Don’t put it off until after your coffee break, or after lunch, or on the next major holiday.
All you ever have is this moment right now, and in that moment is always–always–the opportunity to let people know that they are loved.
Don’t let that chance slip away.