My father didn’t say I love you with words, he said I love you in the way he let me have a sticker window in his brand new car.
He said i love you by accepting every weird phase I went through without batting an eye. He made Sunday morning pankcakes for the brick I carried around for the better part of a year. He helped me train when I was sure I’d become a professional hockey player. He never discouraged my dreams, even if they seemed impossible.
He said I love you when he stopped going out with his friends because he could see the stress it caused me as a child. And when he did go out, he loved me in the way he’d answer my phone calls every ten minutes to reassure me he would be home soon.
He loved me in the way he’d make sure my Halloween makeup was perfect every year. He loved me by driving an extra two hours each day so I could go to the same school as my friends. He loved me by working long and hard hours so we could live in the better part of town.
He may not have said “i love you” very often, but it was in everything he did. It was in the way he woke up and in the way he fell asleep.
I’d take that over words any day.