Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Letters to Dad: Love Languages


Several years ago I read a wonderful book called The Five Love Languages. I was trying to understand why my relationships weren't working out. I wasn't yet ready to admit to the obvious (I had chosen terrible partners), but I did learn something unique and wonderful from this book. People understand love like they do language and if you aren't speaking their language, they do not feel loved. The five love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Most people have a primary love language and, possibly, a secondary love language. It is only when people "speak" their language do they feel loved. Of course, they tend to show their love in the language that they understand.

I don't know if acts of service is the language that I understand, or the one that you understand, but it is the one that I would say we both understand. When I was overwhelmed with doing dishes, it was always you who walked into the kitchen and silently picked up the drying towel and set to work in order to make my job go faster. During the summer, I eagerly anticipated you coming home for lunch, so that you would make grilled cheese sandwiches. When I was learning to drive, you were the one riding shotgun, because it was too much of a strain on mom's nerves. I don't know how many times we made that circuit around the church parking lot. During my college years, I know that you worried about the maintenance on my car, and I always had you down to the filling station putting air in my tires each time I came home. You even made me a list of which gas stations had "good" gas. I still don't know the determining factor, but I only bought from your list. I kept it in the glove compartment. I thought of it as a Love List. My dad didn't want me buying bad gas.

It's unfortunate that you couldn't have made me lists to save me from every bump that comes down the road of life. I know that you would have had you been able. As it is, I wish that I could make a quick pop back in time and grab that gas station list out of that old car. I really miss that list.


image found at www.weheartit.com


  1. Robin: You have learned so very much. You are blessed.

  2. This was really beautiful. I am an acts of service person too. Bad gas....that is an old term...My mom used to use it too...whenever the car was deemed 'sluggish'..it was bad gas. lol. These letters are priceless. Pain and love are intertwined, aren't they. Hugs.

  3. What a beautiful tribute and celebration of your relationship with your Dad. I have enjoyed watching different friends' Dads over the years as they did seemingly silly things that showed how much they loved their kids. Thanks for these letters. They are truly loving and meaningful.

  4. Great post, Robin. I read that book and I think everyone would benefit from reading it. I once knew a guy who couldn't communicate verbally but he loved to cook for me. I finally figured it out. :)

  5. I can't even begin to tell you how deeply moved I am by these letters... The way that you're creating this opportunity for yourself and your dad is an incredibly beautiful thing for both of you.

    You're sharing something so special with your dad and I believe that anyone who has (or had) a deep sense of love and respect for a parent would love to do the same. I'm honored that you're sharing this with us.

    You're an incredibly loving daughter and a beautiful person, Robin. I'm so blessed to know you as a friend. Hang in there, OK kiddo?

    Sending you warm hugs and my prayers,


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