One of the most difficult sentences to say in any language is “I love you.” Well, at least it was for me, not that I have not uttered it before. This however was different. It took me a long time and a lot of self-convincing to prep myself to utter those three words. Should I or should I not? Would it be embarrassing for the both of us? Those questions swirled around in my mind for a long time.
Dragging up those affections from the deepest recesses of my heart was easy. The toughest part was opening my lips and prying it out of the tip of my tongue. There was never an open show of affection in my family. It was among that culture which I grew up in that greatly influenced my interactions with other people. In many ways, it was easier to repress my emotions than to express it. That was how I was brought up.
One evening, maybe twenty year ago, I am not sure anymore, it has been such a long time; I was in the living room. I cannot even remember what I was doing there. Maybe I was watching the sixteen inch television. Or perhaps I was playing games on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ that was connected to the same television that doubled up as the monitor. What I was doing that evening does not matter. What is important was I picked up the courage to say what I had wanted to say for a long time.
“I love you.”
A chill ran down my spine as those words left my lips.
“Because you are my father.”
“Thank you for everything.”
“There is no need to thank me.”
Not a word was exchanged after that. I loved him not only because he was my father. There was so much more that I wanted to say to him, so much gratitude that I wanted to express. I was just too overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment. I felt like a child who had suddenly grown up, who was bold enough to speak out what was in my mind, and heart.
Thinking back now, I am glad I did what I did. Although it was an awkward moment for the both of us, having said what I had wanted to say to my father for a long time brought a sense of accomplishment and relieve. Indeed, those three words were the most difficult to say to one of the few people who mattered most to me. But I am glad I did. I love you Dad!