Today I learned that my aunt died at ninety years old. She was a wonderful person, who grew up in occupied Holland during the Second World War. She spoke very little English, except the most important words to share with another person: I love you. She always remembered birthdays and holidays, sending cards well into her eighties, with increasing difficulty as she slowly lost her eyesight to macular degeneration. As she aged, she would say less and less in her cards, but always ending with “I love you.” Those were the only words that mattered, anyway.
There was very little of substance that we could ever talk about, as I knew no Dutch, and she knew little English. Yet, we had a deep connection. In my saddest times, to get a card from her with those three lovely words on it meant more than anything anyone else could say. Those three words have incredible power to heal the human heart.
She was as a gentle soul, with a kind heart, boundless love, and compassion. The world needs more loving spirits like her. I will miss her. I love you.