Show and tell your love to your family, by George D. Durrant
This is an excerpt from ‘Love At Home, Starring Father’, Chapter 11, by George D. Durrant
It just isn’t right for your children to have to guess whether or not you love them. They will always suspect that you do, but once in a while why not come right out and tell them? You can do it. It might make you nervous, but you can do it. My own father had a hard time saying “I love you”. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall that I ever heard him say that to anyone. He was good to me and because of all that he did for me I was very suspicious that he loved me; I really knew he did, but he never would say it.
He had been a miner in the silver mines and later he became a poultryman. He was a rough outdoorsman and had expertise in hunting and fishing. He was really a man’s man and to me he was a great father. But he never said, “George, I love you.” One day he did come close to telling me he loved me.
I was about to depart on my mission to England. I was nearly 22 years old. (MIssionaries did not go at age 19 back then.) It was in the middle of November and there was snow on the ground. I was to depart in 3 days. SInce I was the youngest of nine children, when I departed all the children would be gone from the home. My father must have felt a bit saddened by this. He and I were alone in our big kitchen where we seemed to live our lives (seldom did we go to the front room). He stood looking out the window that was the upper portion of our back door. He suddenly said, “George, come over here.” I went to his side and looked out. About a hundred yards beyond our barn wa a thicket of brush and trees. There in the snow on the edge of the brush was a beautiful Chinese pheasant. My father spoke again, “George, get the gun.” I replied, “Dad, the pheasant season ended over a week ago.”
I will never forget what he said next because it was the most loving thing he ever spoke to me. He said, “I know that. You go get the gun and go out there and shoot that pheasant. And while you are doing it, I will call the cops and they will come and arrest you and you won’t have to go to England.”
I was by this time much taller than my father. I looked down at him and he looked away. I put my hand on his shoulder and then pulled him close to me. Together we cried. My dad, my dear dad, had for the first time said in the best words he could muster, and in the best way he knew how, what I had longed to hear for 22 years. He had said, “George, my son, I love you.”