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Allison was an upbeat, enthusiastic teen. She was positive, eager, and energetic. She was one of the teens in my group and was always a joy. It was terrible the day I got the call about her dad.

Allison’s dad died suddenly of a massive heart attack sitting in his office at work one day. I got to the hospital to see them carrying his belongings with them into the counseling room. They were silent, stunned, sobbing. The cheerfulness that was always on Allison’s face had been washed away with sorrow and tears. We talked for a long time, the family and I. They were trying to get their minds around what had happened. I wondered what would happen to cheerful Allison. Her daddy meant the world to her. She would be crushed.

In the days that followed I kept a close eye on Allison and her family. They each had their own way of dealing with the grief. Allison’s was simple. She said, "Every day my daddy told me, 'I love you'," she said. “Even though he's gone, I’ll never doubt his love…that means everything.”

The power of “I love you” can be expressed in so many ways. But the key comes down to this. You’ve got to express love everyday for it to really show you mean it. When’s your last chance to say to God, “I love You”? Don’t leave your gratitude unexpressed.

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