When was the last time you said “I love you”?
I didn’t mean showing or expressing love, but literally saying it. Verbally. Words. From your mouth.
They say actions speak louder than words. Yes, I will always agree. But I know of many people – I included – who would be willing to pay unreal amounts just to hear those words. They will sell their soul to the devil if they have to.
Imagine yourself in love with someone who can somehow show it, but cannot say it. That is how many families with children with autism feel.
Sam would occasionally give us a hug. And immediately looks for us and holds our hand when it gets dark. Jared would occasionally give us a kiss, with both his palms holding our cheeks. He would also run to us first if something hurts. They would sometimes ‘adorably’ shove cereal in our mouths, which would have been completely annoying if it was from someone else.
Yes, they probably love us and couldn’t live without us. But we have not, and probably will never hear them say those words. If someone approaches me someday and tells me he can make my children speak, my soul will be on sale.
Being regular people, we take many ‘small’ things for granted. We do not see the beauty of being able to think, speak, read, or write. We do not appreciate the fact that we could attend a rock concert, a street party, or even just a stroll in the mall, without being overwhelmed by the crowd, noise, lights, and colors. We don’t know that being able to brush our teeth will be considered a feat for some. We don’t even have a clue how our being potty-trained is much coveted by parents who has children with autism.
These, and more, are daily things that we take for granted. They seem too ‘normal’ to be noticed. But there are people out there who would love to see a tenth of what we are capable of doing.
If you are capable of reading this, good for you. If you are blessed with thought, be thankful. If you have the gift of speech, use it. I love you. Mahal kita. Say it. Because actions speak louder than words, but words still speak volumes.
So, when was the last time you said “I love you?”