Love is not so much overrated as it is misunderstood. It is perhaps the most complex emotion in the human experience. My father loved me. I know he did. Not because he ever told me so but because he never uttered the words. He kept it inside to show me how men survive. He, like most men of his generation was honed to be stoic. He was not unfeeling or emotionally challenged. Growing up in the 1930s, a man becomes a man by burying all of the compassion that would make him vulnerable. I doubt that his father ever said aloud that he loved him. I can only recall two times he ever embraced me. The first was when I told him that his son was going to die, not in the physical sence but that he would never see him in the same way again. The last time he hugged me was when he was dying. When I said goodby to my wife and children on a colorless January morning in 1994, I never shed a tear. I simply drove away. If I felt anything at all it was exhileration and a fear of the unknown. It would be years later that I would break apart releasing all of that emotional energy that had been locked away and understand completely that sometimes -as Eric Segal had observed in his debut novel, love sometimes means having to say goodby.


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