Ham told Heddy he loved her every day. Though he never whispered it breathlessly into the nape of her neck, or cried it out in a moment of passion.
He said it when he left for work, when he was going to sleep and when he was ready to hang up the phone.
After forty-eight years together, the words, ‘I love you’ had become perfunctory. A salutation, an emotionless replacement for the words goodbye, good-night or see you later. Now, at her bedside, faced with saying his final goodbye, Ham realized they had become just an assemblage of tired old words.
He grappled with himself in silence for a long time, before whispering, “You have bestowed upon me the greatest privilege a man could ever be given. That of loving, and having been loved by you. I am only sorry it took me until now to understand the true meaning of the words ‘I love you'” -into the soft curve of her throat.
Contentedly, Heddy slipped away. It had been well worth the wait.
Inspired by Misky’s Twiglet: old tired words.