He couldn't figure out what happened. They were having a phone conversation and she asked him how he proposed to his wife who passed away a number of years ago. He stared to explain what he thought was a funny way guys and gals dated back then and before he knew it her tone was cold and distant.
He remembered telling her that he used to tell his dates after a while that they couldn't see each other any more because he was falling in love with them and he wasn't good enough for them. They would cry but at least they left the date feeling good about themselves, it wasn't another guy walking away without any explanation. Except for his wife who actually laughed at him and until he would profess that he really meant it she didn't care if he did call or didn't call. It was up to him. A funny story no? They were together for over 50 years and only illness separated them and then of course death.
Her reaction was totally unexpected. "So you use the word love as causally as you would throw something away ?" "Are you the type of guy who tells everybody he loves them just to get them to love him?". He was getting the feeling that she was upset about something then when she said, "When you said you loved me was that a casual use of the word just to get me to love you?", she inferred that he was just like all the others using words to play on feelings just for their own gain whatever that might be. He tried to explain that the guy who used to say those things back in the day was not the same guy who she was talking to at this time. After the call he thought long and hard about what transpired. He was concerned. He was really in a quandary because he didn't want to lose her but he feared that he might have over what was a minor misunderstanding in his mind. He finally decided on sending an Email to see if he could ease the situation. He really didn't want to lose her.
"Hi, I was thinking about our conversation tonight and apparently I upset you when I related my play on words when I dated and how my wife and I got together. You have led me to believe your understanding of how I use the word "love" is too casual and perhaps that is how I view you as a casual happening. First of all I must point out that when my wife and I were dating we were barely out of our teens and it was a game, the dating game. Perhaps I flung words about without thinking of the actual meaning but that was the way back then. But though the years I came to appreciate words. I came to appreciate their meaning. My experiences led me to understand that one doesn't use a phrase such as "I love You." lightly because it has deeper meanings than a heart can discern.
I learned all about love from being with my wife. When we were in our early to mid years she was the most loving and giving woman I knew. She was a super mother and a super lover. But as she approached late middle years and old age she became sick, she had Alzheimer's. In the beginning stages we still said "I love you." to each other. As the illness progressed I kept saying it to her but she said it less and less until she only said it at the most intimate moments but finally as the disease progressed she said it no more. I kept telling her I loved her 'till the day she died. She used to tell people her husband loved her and was coming to see her but when I came I wasn't her husband, the disease robbed me of that, I was just a"nice guy" who helped her. Yet the meaning of the phrase, "I love you." coming from me to her kept having more and more meaning to me as I came to realize that while loving without reciprocation is very lonely and sad it also has a way of cementing the true meaning of love in one's heart, to give completely and wholly even if the recipient has no way of understanding what is going on. Yes I learned the meaning of the word love even as it seared my soul as I told my wife I did love her and she never fully understood as the end was nearing.
So when I told you I love you I fully understood what I was saying and meant it in the fullness of the word and the word's life. Of course I wanted you to love me back because as I mentioned before, love unrequited
is sad and very lonely, not because I wanted to seduce you in any manner. I am not the same guy who was out on those dates way back when. I am different because I have learned by living a life that showed me nothing but love from my wife and family giving me the knowledge that one should never use that phrase, that word in any way but in complete truth.
One of your old time friends jokingly referred to me because of some of my flowery phrases as a "Hallmark Card". If you remember you actually gave me such a card. Now I want to want to send you the saying on it because it expresses what I feel in terms in a way that it is much better than I could ever express it. "Since we met, I can honestly say that I've loved every minute we've spent together. I mean it. It's been wonderful. And I find myself liking you and loving you more and more each time we talk. You have this amazing ability to make me feel happy-about myself, about the funny little things in life... but mostly just about being with you. Because it is a very good place to be. I'm lucky I met you and I want you to know just how great I think you are.'. (Author-J. Gar)
So what do you say? Are we OK? Do you understand me better? Do you trust me? I know when you say "I love you.", it is meant without reservation. And now you know when I say those words it is not a casual attempt to seduce you but to let you know my true feelings. I love you!"
He read over the Email many times before he took a deep breath and clicked on "send".