Friday, February 1, 2013

Tell Them You Love Them Now And Tell Them Often

Benjamin had a 17 year old son named Aaron, a young man he loved deeply. But as man, Benjamin found it hard to express his love for Aaron, always assuming this young man somehow knew of that love by the generous acts his father bestowed upon him.

Benjamin thought one day he might become more expressive of his love, because there was plenty of time for he was only 50 and his son 17.

But then one day there was a knock on the door and when Benjamin and his wife Miriam answered it, there was a uniformed police officer standing in front of them. From the serious look in his eyes, they knew the news would be bad.

Aaron was jogging on a sidewalk alongside a local boulevard when a drunk driver lost control of his car and slammed it into Aaron and two other pedestrians.

The other pedestrians survived but Aaron did not. The officer told Benjamin and Miriam how sorry he was about this tragedy. He added that having a child of his own he could start to imagine how horrible this news was to them.

The days and weeks that followed were a tearful and heart aching blur.

But with time, and often looking at the pictures of Aaron displayed around their home, Benjamin would regularly ask himself, as if he was speaking to Aaron, "Why didn't I tell you how much I love you? Why didn't I hug you and kiss you more often?.

"Why did it take such a tragedy for me to become so expressive, now that I no longer have the opportunity of expressing my feelings directly to you? You were a marvelous young man and it was a blessing to be your father."

One Friday evening, Benjamin was speaking to a group of parents who were also dealing with the incredible grief of losing a child. "One of the things I have learned by this nightmare," he said, "Is a profound lesson and it is this:

"Tell your children you love them. Tell them now and tell them often. Don't assume there will be time to tell them later. Later may never come. Those words of love are some of the most powerful in any language and they will bring you and your loved ones great satisfaction and greater meaning to your lives."

As many audience members cried aloud, among their tears was the understanding of the truth in what Benjamin said, a message that should resonate with each of us.

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