There are no real lost words or expressions of love. We have always told each other that we love each other. While my childhood had a lot of problems with poverty and alcoholism, there was never a lack of love. That includes actually saying it and showing it, not just an “unacknowledged” understanding.
Jello and I were fortunate though. Jello was able to talk with him on the phone before my dad lost the ability to talk that way. I know Jello wished he could have made it up to see dad, but the surgery results wouldn’t let him travel that far.
I was fortunate as well. While I was up visiting my mom as she and the rest of my family watched over him in the last week. I went into the bedroom, hugged him, kissed his forehead and told him that Jello and I loved him.
As if from a zombie movie, his eyes shot open and focused on me. There was a bit of shock on my part, he had been unconscious all day, hadn’t really even responded to me earlier. He grabbed my head and lifted himself up to kiss me, hug me and tell me how much he loved Jello and myself and how proud he was of us.
We talked for a few minutes more, but he was so tired and exerting so much effort that I just laid beside him for a minute and told him it was ok. I was there. He went back to sleep.
That was the last time I talked to him. I know he woke up and talked a bit with the rest of my family, and when I came up the day before he passed I sat with him for hours holding his hand as he slept. He would respond if I told him I loved him by squeezing my hand. I probably could have pushed him to come up again, but he was finally resting, no pain, no trouble breathing and he was calm. So I just held his hand.