I spent a few hours with Kodecker yesterday. Before I left, I hugged her neck and told her that I loved her. She replied, “bunches.” My family has said bunches for so long that I can’t even remember how it got started. I just know that it came from daddy.
When I was little, daddy would holler my name. When I came running, he’d smile and say I love you. It always scared me to death – but he got a kick out of it. When I’d say it back, he’d ask: bunches? I’d huff a bit and agree: BUNCHES.
Years later, after I moved to Wilmington, Daddy would call me to chit-chat. Before we hung up the phone, he always said: I love you, bunches, baby. See ya. Bye. I heard it so many times that his voice rings in my head just thinking about it.
I picked up the saying all those years ago. I say it to Brandon, the girls, Kodecker, and pretty much all of my daddy’s family.
After daddy died, my aunts started saying it to me too. My Aunt Janey says it every time we talk. My Aunt Karen did too. It’s just a sweet saying we all picked up on.
There’s power in that one little word for me. It feels like one of daddy’s hugs, taking the worst of hurt feelings and making them all better. It’s like magic.
I’ve always wondered if it was an Appalachian saying or something that belongs just to our clan. Does anyone else say I love you bunches? If not, does your family have its own way of saying I love you? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section!