Our Rural Roots

Ways to Say the Words

Lawrence and Meredith Bernard. Meredith says if you have someone who needs to know you love them, it's never too late to do it your own sweet way. (DTN photo by Wesley Bernard)

"I love you."

Three short and sweet words. Three words we hear a lot this time of year. Three words thrown around a bit flippantly other times of the year. And, perhaps three words some of us wish we used more purposefully.

One of my fondest childhood memories of my mother was her waking me every morning. She'd open the blinds, sit on my bed and sing: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ..."

Maybe you know the tune? Maybe you were blessed enough to have your mother sing it to you, too.

Back then, I didn't appreciate it every morning. Sometimes, I'd have rather slept a little longer and kept the light out just a few more minutes. These days, just the thought of her singing those words floods me with warm, happy memories. While my mother often told me she loved me, this sweet melody was one way she showed it to be true.

Sometimes, it's good to remember that while words definitely matter, actions can say even more. Maybe you have people in your life who aren't good at saying "I love you" but are there for you in other ways. Maybe they are showing you they love you the best they can. Maybe you've been that person to others in your life.

I'm old enough to realize that we all feel and show love differently. These days, I try hard to embrace enough grace for myself and others for the giving and receiving. We can't control how others treat us, but we can control how we receive it and even more, we can control how we treat them. If you have someone who needs to know you love them, it's not too late until it's too late ... and it's never too late to do it your own sweet way.


Meredith Bernard writes, tends to farm and family, and chooses her words carefully from North Carolina. Follow her on social media @thisfarmwife and visit her website at https://thisfarmwife.com/…