No one ever said I love you. No hugs or signs of affection in my family. But there was laundry. That's how I knew. On the farm in Montana we had a Maytag washer. Basically a tub with an agitator that swished the clothes around in sudsy water. It had a separate ringer that we hand fed the wet clothes through to squeeze out the water. We had no dryer. Everything was hung on the clothes line with wooden pegs to dry in the wind and sun. There is no scent on earth that compares to line dried laundry. Especially sheets and blankets. In my little life, and even now, they smelled like love. And hugs. That's how I knew.
Do you have special memories that made you feel loved?
I wish I did Michael.
Amazing...!!!! Almost the exact same as yours, except I was raised in North Central Texas south of Ft. Worth.
About 20 years ago I was living alone, and got sick with the flu. My mom brought me a rose. It really cheered me up.
My mother would give me fifty cents every time we went shopping at Sears and Roebuck. That was just enough for me to buy a small bag of red-shelled pistachio nuts (they kept them under a warming light at the candy counter). I'd walk around the rest of the afternoon with green and brown specks in my teeth, red fingers and a big smile on my face.
My dad brushing my hair then tying a blue ribbon around my head. My mother making me a dress out of Lady and the Tramp material then taking me to see the movie.
I knew I was loved but not in the real way until I was grown up.
My mom liked me...I liked her. My dad and I were at odds many times but after he died his wife sent me a copy of a letter he wrote to some one some 30yrs prior. I was surprised at how he spoke of his kids...it touched me deeply.
To this day I tell my kids I love them...everyday..even if it's just a quick phone call, even when they ask for money. I might tell them no..but I still tell them I love them.
My parents were very strict (I thought). I was pretty rebelious, but I knew deep down that they would've thrown me out if there wasn't some love there.