The Opposite of No

I hate the saying “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” don’t you? I imagine that everyone has felt this before and doesn’t need it constantly repeated just to rub it in our face… If only it wasn’t so applicable to our lives.

She and I got out of my car after date number…I can’t even imagine. We’d been together for a little over a year and all signs pointed to this being “the one.” However, me being the young man I was, I was still too afraid to tell her exactly how I felt and, you guessed it, to tell her that I loved her…even though I did.

I walked her to her door to kiss her goodnight when I noticed apprehension in her step. We always had such a carefree relationship that any signs of trouble made me panic. When I asked her what was wrong, the answer was simple:

“I love you…Do you love me too?”

Yes. I did. Every part of me loved every last part of her and I wanted nothing more than to yell it at the top of my lungs. The funny thing about life is, sometimes we don’t even voice our most passionate of feelings just in fear of hearing ourselves say them out loud for the first time.

I paused. I stuttered. I completely blew it. I told her that I needed more time to figure out exactly how I felt.

And now she’s with someone else.

If I could do it all over again, things would have gone much differently. Simply put, when she said “Do you love me?”, I would have, without thought, replied:

“Yes.”

Down the Stairs

I didn’t understand her problem at the time. I don’t know if it was just my age but when you’re 18 you rarely focus on anyone’s problems but your own…oh how backwards we can be, right?

She mentioned how she felt ugly, fat and never good enough for me but I never paid it much mind. I avoided these conversations like the plague because I wasn’t sure what to say. Had I known how dangerous this could be or how badly she needed someone to tell her it would be OK, I would have said something. Instead, I was too worried about what to do on Friday night or if my hair was perfectly in place.

I showed up to her house on prom night and as she came walking down the stairs I was stunned…absolutely amazed by her beauty. But instead of telling her this, I said, “Let’s go” and walked her to the limo.

A few weeks later she entered treatment for Anorexia and Bulimia and it killed me to think I could have ever been so blind. If I had that chance to stand there in her living room with her walking slowly toward me down the stairs, I would never miss the chance to tell her how beautiful I thought she was.

I rushed the moment with “let’s go” and missed the golden opportunity to just say “I’m lucky”, or “wow.”

Don’t rush life. Take the time to appreciate what you have.

You never know how much the words you say might mean to someone.

You never know how much the words you don’t say might hurt them as well.

The Only Moment We Were Alone

I stood at the foot of his hospital bed, 13 years old and completely unaware of the magnitude of the moment.

My grandfather had been there since day one, as I lived with he and my grandmother while my Mother finished school. He took me to work with him, he played monster trucks with me and he was the one who tucked me in at night… He was my best friend in the entire world.

You don’t comprehend death at 13, although you are probably old enough to do so. In my eyes he was a rock, unbreakable. In my eyes he’d be with me forever.

So when I stood at the foot of his hospital bed, the only time I was ever in his room alone with him, I didn’t know what to say when it was time leave.

In my heart I know he knew how much I loved him but I only could muster “I’ll come back and see you later” because in my mind, he would still be there when I returned.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t.

If I had my life to live all over again, there isn’t much I would do differently. However, if I could just get back that 1 second in which I made up my mind as to what I should say, I would have said “I Love You.” Because I did. And I do.

Always will.