We all long to feel love from those around us, but we have to adjust to understanding how each individual expresses it in order to get because some just do not know how to say it out loud. Everyone expresses it in different ways – mom always hugged me, kissed my cheek, and said “I love you” out loud, but dad only worried about me and fuzzed at me so that mom had to tell me it was because “he loves you.”
I guess I am just hard headed but I like to be told outright and not have to wonder. I have trouble reading minds, although my wife expects that to be a dominate trait of mine!
Touching is another way people express their love for others. I sometimes touch a person on the arm or back as I speak to them. They may not be able to read my mind, but it means I care; I am glad they are there with me, or that I am interested in them and their problems. If dad had touched me more, maybe I would have gotten the message – oh wait, maybe it was when he held me down and tickled me until I cried!
Anyway, one of the most endearing “touches” was from my fraternal grandfather “Pa.” Pa never failed to wake me each morning when I stayed with them during my adolescent summers. Gentle but rough farm worn hands would nudge me awake as they pressed firmly down on me from head to toe as I lay under the covers. His soft gravelly voice saying “Pack’em down, pack’em down, pack’em down” as he went up and down my body two or three times. I would begin to move around, yawn, blink my eyes open, and look up into his weathered face.
“Your Ma and Lois almost have breakfast ready…better get up. We got lots to do today.”
I loved this attention and understood it was his way of saying “I love you,” although he never actually said it out loud. I loved this old man just because he “packed me down” and for little else. It was all that mattered and all that I really remember about his nature. He will long live in my mine as a gentle, hard working man, who packed me down!
I have continued this tradition of “packin’ ‘em down” with my son and my granddaughters. If they do little else in their lives to show love to their children I hope they remember to wake them up in the mornings with a soft loving voice saying “Pack’em down, pack’em down, pack’em down.”
It takes so little to love others – why don’t we do it more often?