"Sweeter the Thoughts of Love Expressed"

"SWEET are the thoughts of love, but sweeter the thoughts of love expressed." At different times when I have seen the lack of communication between older parents and their children, this quote has come to my mind, and I have sensed its full implication. It is easy to tell our small children of our love for them, and to kiss away the stings of their small failures; and for them, in return , to put warm little arms around our necks, shower us with kisses, and say the magic words: "I love you, Mommy," or "I love you, Daddy." But far too often the years, with their speed of living and their many outside interests, silence the utterances of such thoughts--although we still think them--and the doing of little things that endear and enrich each day's performance in the great, continuous drama of life.

This was brought forcibly to my cognizance as I watched a young matron going through her mother's "things" after her death. In the "secret" drawer of her mother's desk, she found a few letters and cards which proved to be those her mother had specially cherished because they spoke her children's love to her. Among them was a page from a letter this daughter had written to her mother when but a young girl, one line of which read, "I really do love you, Mama." Tears flowed freely as the daughter, herself a mother, said, "Had I only known!"

I remember the day I visited an old, old lady. She proudly showed me the card she had received that day from her son, a professor in a university, and asked me to read it aloud to her. Of course she had read it already many times, but she wanted to hear it again. So I began, "Dear Mother."

Instantly she stopped me and said, "You read it wrong. He wrote, "Dearest Mother." That one word, or rather the adding of est, meant all the world to her in affection value.

I recall listening to the experience of a lovely, mature Latter-day Saint young woman whose father had recently passed away--several years after her mother had left them. In teaching her Gleaner class in the Mutual Improvement Association she said, "I shall tell you this sacred experience of mine that you whose parents are still living may fill their lives with joy by showing and expressing frequently your love and appreciation for them, which they yearn to hear.

"One night, a week before my father's passing, I gave him his medicine and his glass of warm milk, his alcohol rub, straightened his bed, fluffed his pillow, and made him as comfortable as possible. When I said good night and asked him if there was anything else he would like, he smiled weakly and answered, "Yes, my dear, just one more thing--a kiss."

"... Sweeter the thoughts of love expressed!"