Tell loved ones you love them |

Tell loved ones you love them

It is Thanksgiving Day, and I want to tell you I love you. Yes, I really love you. I am not kidding. You are very important to me, and I love you.

Feel better?

You know the kind of person I am – one of those irritating people who will walk up to you and look you straight in the eye and say, “I love you.” If you don’t hit me, then it normally will make you and me feel better.

Do yourself a favor and promise me you will tell someone today you love him or her. Hug your kids and tell them. Go visit relatives and tell them. Call an aunt and uncle on the phone and tell them. It is so important.

In early 1989, my good friend and employee Wendy Webster was killed on Highway 9 right across from Stan Miller’s. It was one of those nasty January days when snow cover had melted during the day, and then it began to sleet and rain. By 4 p.m., it was black ice.

Wendy had stopped to talk to Wendy Kipple who was at Tom Curtis’ house at Tiger Road, where she kept her horses. They decided to have dinner together, and Wendy Webster continued on toward Breckenridge to pick up her son at daycare. She had made it about half a mile when her truck slid sideways into an oncoming car. Wendy’s truck rolled, and she fell on her gearshift and ruptured an artery in her spine. She probably died instantly.

I never said goodbye.

I got to stand next to the truck and look at her pinned underneath. I was there when the wrecker lifted the truck and helped move her body out of the way.

I never said goodbye.

I always wondered if anyone had told her that day they loved her – if her son Barrett said, “I love you mommy,” when she dropped him off that morning. I wondered if her mom or dad had called that day to tell her they loved her.

The very last time I saw my dad alive was Thanksgiving 1985. He had been sick for several weeks, and my family and I drove from Colorado to Iowa to spend the holidays. I remember dad was so sick, he hardly moved. He was always a strong man in my eyes and it was hard to be around him when he was so weak.

I remember, when we were leaving the house for the last time, I walked over to his recliner and told him I loved him. I told him I really appreciated everything he had ever done for me – that I respected him and knew he was the smartest person I had ever known.

My father did not finish elementary school. He dropped out to work to help support his family. I told him I loved him, and I knew he understood what I meant.

I never saw him alive again. But I know he knew I loved him. Our family was never very demonstrative, so you would have to appreciate the effort.

You need to tell people you love them. Give them a very special gift today on Thanksgiving. Tell them you love them.

When they leave to go to the store, they might not come back. We never know if this might be the very last time we will have to say, “I love you.” Consider it insurance. Consider it money in the bank. Take a risk. Take a chance. Tell them you love them.

Columnist Gary Lindstrom writes in this space on Thursdays.

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