Why You Should Always Say I Love You

On Monday, I was off from work for the holiday. I worked from home and did some errands. Got a ridiculous deal on some of my favorite yogurt at Whole Foods. Not a terrifically exciting day. Nothing much has been going on. I figured that I would call my parents later in the week since nothing has been happening.

Tuesday afternoon, my cell phone rang. It was my mom. My father was in the hospital. He got sick on Sunday night and they took him to the hospital on Monday. He exhibited signs of Bell’s Palsy in his facial muscles and an inability to say certain things. He couldn’t close one eye and he had difficulty walking. As always, my parents determined that it would be best to call me after the fact (like a day) because I’m not there and they don’t want to worry me. By the time I got the news, the doctors had ruled out Bell’s Palsy and said that he had a stroke.

My father had a stroke and I was 2,500 miles away. My mom told me to call him on his cell since he didn’t have a phone in his room in the ICU. But, she stressed that he wasn’t supposed to be in the ICU. Some weirdness with the hospital in the even tinier town next to our tiny village.

Before calling my dad, I cried. It was more than just hearing that he had a stroke. It was, of course, the fact that I couldn’t immediately go there. I couldn’t comfort my mother who said all she wanted was for him to be home. To pet their bewildered doggie who didn’t understand why his favorite playmate wasn’t around. It pulled at my heart. It hurt. A lot.

I got it together and I called my dad. To hear his voice and his difficulty in forming words was painful. He was in good spirits. He made jokes. He was his usual self. His sense of humor was ever present. But his cell phone connection was bad. His phone disconnected once and he called me back. It disconnected again after crackling the entire time. After that, we didn’t reconnect. I figured it was too bad a connection. After it was too late to call him back due to the time zones, I realized that I didn’t tell him that I loved him. That nagged at me. I should have said it right away. In a situation like this…

I didn’t talk to my father on Wednesday. He was in tests and changing rooms. His first test was inconclusive. His doctor pushed for a second test.

This morning, I was still bothered by how the first call ended and I simply wanted to talk with him briefly and to make sure I told him that I loved him. I’m glad I called when I did. During that call, my father advised me that he was being transferred to a larger hospital in Philly because he needed surgery. They verified through the second test that it was indeed a stroke and he had an aneurysm. He tried to keep it light, but I knew that more was going on. I let him do his thing and made sure I told him that I loved him.

I called my husband in tears. I asked what I should do. Should I get on a plane? I then sent a text to my brother. He told me to call him. We are not a chatty people, so I knew something was up. Even though my father kept it light, what he failed to mention was that the aneurysm is at the base of his brain. He was being rushed to the hospital in Philly. It wasn’t just a transfer. My dad. Always trying to make sure that I don’t worry.

Right now, I’m on a plane. When I sent the text to my brother, I also sent a text to his wife. She said that if it were her, she would come. (Finally, someone who just says it!!) I hate that the flight is so long and that even planes feel so slow. However, I’m grateful that I’m on a plane that arrives around midnight and not tomorrow morning. I’m going straight to my brother’s. (Or Wawa. Plane food is not easy for the gluten-free woman and I can only eat so many larabars in a day.)

Tomorrow, I can see my family, hold them close and tell them all that I love them.

Still Daddy's little girl

Comments Closed


  1. I am sad for you. I think I’ll call my dad.

  2. I’ve been taking my dad for granted lately. Need to call and tell him I love him.

  3. Danielle – my prayers are with you, your Dad and family. I agree that we don’t say “I love you” often enough. Have a safe trip.

  4. This brought me to tears. I so sad that you are dealing with this. I will keep you guys in my prayers. And I completely agree you should always say I love you!

  5. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  6. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 16 – too young and stupid to know that I needed to say “I love you” every chance I got. I learned my lesson from that, I like to think – but I know there are still times when I let it slip in the daily routine. Thank you for the reminder.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this; so glad you’ll be there with him, so glad you got on that plane. I will be praying for you all!

  7. Oh hunny… I’m so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family. {hugs}

  8. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  9. I was super-close to my Dad (he lived in FL and I am in CT)…and I had an amazing talk with him the morning of the day he had his fatal heart-attack (12/30/10). Neither of us knew at the time that it would be our last conversation. Later that night, after I’d gone to bed, I awoke feeling terrible. I got up and passed out on the bathroom floor. And then I was very sick. About an hour later, the phone rang and I was still on the bathroom floor, so my husband answered. It was my father’s wife calling to say that he’d had what was most likely a fatal heart attack (he was 75). Many hours later, after I was done being sick, I called the hospital and asked that they hold the phone up to his ear. I was able to tell him that I loved him. But I am also really glad that, each and every time I spoke with him, I told him that I loved him.

    Big hugs to you!

  10. Thinking of you, your family and your dad. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers. <3

  11. My thought are with you and your family…

  12. Oh Danielle, this post brought me to tears. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. Stay strong.

    I’ll be thinking about you and your family.

  13. Just wanted to send support your way. I do not talk to my family enough either, but things like this always remind me too.

  14. I am so sorry to hear this. You and your family are in my thoughts this week. I live 800 miles away from my family and one of my biggest fears is not being there if/when something happens.

  15. in my thoughts and prayers!

  16. 1ST: don’t make me cry anymore
    2ND: Russ’s mom was flown from Christiana to Jefferson after her aneurysm burst – she’s had to have a few surgeries, but she’s doing great – 8 years later. I’m thinking of you!

  17. Christieo says:

    Sending you prayers and hugs!! Xoxoxoxo

  18. We all love to hear that others love us. But I am willing to bet your dad knows you love him even if he does not always hear the words. My beloved and loving mother-in-law survived several strokes though finally succumbed to stomach cancer. I did get to tell her how much I loved her.

  19. Thinking of you and your family.

  20. I wish I could give you a hug right now. Beautiful post praying for a beautiful outcome.

  21. My dad had a stroke almost 4 years ago now. I was pregnant with my son, but drove straight there. I know how it feels to *need* to be there. I hope all goes well. Daddies are important to us daughters… and they know that, so they try to joke and keep it light so we won’t worry… but nothing replaces being there, next to your mom, holding his hand.

  22. friend, i am so sorry. Your family are in my prayers. Hug your father, cry, and be there for him. sending my love.

  23. Danielle I am so sorry! My prayers are with your Dad and your family! My parents do the “Didn’t want to worry you” thing too. It’s hard being so far away.

  24. I agree….always say I love you! And I’m so glad that you decided to go. I miss my Dad. Sending prayers and hugs.

  25. So sorry for what you’re going through…my thoughts are with you all!

  26. so happy to hear that you are going to be with your family. thinking of you and praying for your father.

  27. Hello. I found your blog through Heather today and I first want to wish the best for your father recovery and safe travels for you. Second…I think you made the right move by going. I will keep you and your family in my prayers this evening.

    xoxo from Trinidad

  28. I’m so sorry. If I were you, I’d fly home also.

    One of my biggest regrets was not taking a semester off from school when my dad got sick.

  29. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I lost two grandparents in the last 8 months, and I know that feeling of living far away and feeling so helpless..I can only imagine how it feels when it’s a parent. I think you made the right decision by going. I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

  30. My heart goes out to you. Putting you and your family in my prayers.

  31. You will never regret going. Your post made me cry as it brought up memories of my father’s illness/passing.

    I hope your next post is better news. Hugs – you know I love you.

  32. Danielle, my thoughts are with you at during the very difficult time. I think you made the right decision. I would have done the same.

  33. Danielle – I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and your father and your family. You’re in my thoughts. I know how you feel and it is devastating to be so far away, or to be close and feel like you can do nothing. Wishing the best for your father and a speedy recovery for all of you. Many hugs!

  34. Okay, okay, so I’m a month late– but this is BEAUTIFULLY written, and SUCH an important reminder. Thank you for opening up and sharing.

  35. So sorry to hear about your dad and I hope all is well now. About 10 years ago, my dad had a heart attack and I was many miles away. I did the same thing wondering if I should go or not. Thinking about it now, of course I should have went (which I did)…but I think when something shocking like that happens it must take a while to really sink in.

    Happy SITS Day!

    • Danielle says:

      It’s such a hard moment in time. I would now tell everyone to go. It’s not even a question.

  36. I hope your Dad is on the mend, aren’t you glad you went?

    • Danielle says:

      He is doing very well and expected to make a 100% recovery, even though it will be a slow road. Looking back, there is no question that I made the right decision.

  37. I read this post back when you posted it but didn’t comment. It was hard for me to read and brought back a lot of memories for me as my Dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack when I was 8 years old. No question that you made the right decision. What I wouldn’t give to have been woken up in the middle of the night so that I could go to the hospital to see my Dad on that night.

  38. I talked to my dad the morning before he passed away (that afternoon) and even 16 years later, it bugs me that I can’t remember if I told him I loved him that morning. I tell my 2 girls every time I talk to them how much I love them, because you never know.

    I hope your dad’s surgery turned out okay.

  39. Awwww….you did the right thing. I hope all went well for him.

  40. I hope everything went well. You are so right. We need to always say I love you