Even though I'm quite capable of being mushy when I'm writing, voicing it isn't one of my strong suits. I do, although, show my true feelings, commitment and belief in those I love by living out those three cherished words: "I love you."
I've never been one to end conversations with the automatic "I love you,' as I feel this sentiment isn't meant to be said as an afterthought. I save them for just the right moment, so the person knows I'm sincere. More times than not I keep the sentimentals to myself and concentrate on what I can do to make their lives easier, because, true love is about sacrifice, compromise and most times, putting their needs before my own.
Maybe I fell short on being sappy since I was raised in a home that, even though we had plenty of love going around, saying it didn't happen very often. I knew my parents loved me because, even though I was a spoiled kid, rebellious teenager and indecisive young adult, they continued to show their love for me by being nurturing, compassionate and supportive.
Fortunately the life cycle gave me the chance to return that love by taking care of them when they needed the nurturing.
I often wonder if my daughters, as they've become adults, now understand that my love comes to them in so many different ways, and even though the words "I love you" may not be said every time we part, my life is dedicated to their well-being and happiness.
Sometimes love will make decisions for you in life, even when you're not looking for a decision to be made. When I realized dad's dementia was going to keep him from living in his own home, my love for him was the only emotion I could pull from to make the decision to move him into a nursing home. I love him too much to live with the guilt if something would have happened because I was being too selfish trying to be his caregiver.
I loved my job at a local newspaper, and leaving the 30-year career wasn't a decision I was looking to make. When my boyfriend asked for my help with his companies my heart skipped a beat or two, and then I jumped into the offer, head over heels in love with the fact I can make a difference in the life of the person I love and want to share my life with.
Life has taught me true love isn't just sitting across the room from each other being googly-eyed but looking together toward the future in the same direction. Besides, I'm going to get my own pickup truck and toolbox. What more can a girl ask for on Valentine's Day?
Page 2 of 2 - Sandy Turner lives in the Kansas City area and writes this column for GateHouse Media.