Since I was fourteen years old I have had a boyfriend give me something special for Valentine’s Day. Even before that we had boxes in our classroom where each student would put a paper valentine in for all other students. We coded our names by putting numbers for the letters in the alphabet so it was fun to figure out from whom the valentine was sent. Valentine’s Day has always been a special day for me.
This year I decided to ignore Valentine’s. I knew that my true love was not going to be here. I knew that I would not get that special card, those flowers and that extra long hug. I had prepared myself for the fact that my husband had died and Valentine’s Day for me would be just another day on the calendar.
I did great. I was rocking along getting my chores done and my “to do” list was getting checked off in the speed of lightning. I was proud of my moving along and ignoring the special day of love.
Then my wonderful daughter comes up to me, gives me a great big cuddly long hug and says, “This was sent to you from heaven from Dad”. That was it. I looked at her and lost it. My big bravado heart broke wide open. I could no longer ignore the day. I loved him so much while he shared my life and I love him now in all of my many memories; I could not act as if it didn’t matter.
Valentine’s Day is a special day to acknowledge our love for our special people. I know it is usually marked for the romantic love in our lives. It is designed for dinners out, flowers, candy in heart shaped boxes and expensive jewelry.
But shouldn’t it be a time that we say “I love you” to all of our special loves? I, as much as I tried, could not get past the hole in my heart where my true love had lived. I ached as I let myself release those feelings of emptiness, loneliness and sadness.
I was on the way to church for Ash Wednesday services and the radio seem to play every song that my husband and I had called “our song”. I cried through everyone. Then the next song would play and it was, once again, another of the songs that we loved. Those songs reminded me of many special moments that only the two of us shared.
By the time I got to church I was a basket case. Probably, for the sake of others, I should have turned around and gone home, gone to bed and cried through the night. But I didn’t. I sat through a very moving service and thought about repentance and the sacrifice of Jesus and how I was going to ponder that for the next 46 days.
Thankfully my friends are sweet, caring people and they accepted my quiet sobs. They knew my distress because they knew how much my husband and I were in love. They understood my pain.
I made it home and the next day I was moving on with life. But I learned that as hard as I tried to ignore the love that is expressed on Valentine’s Day, it has to be acknowledged. I hope that everyone could have a Valentine in their life as dear and loving as mine was. He was a true romantic. We fell so deeply in love that it is hard to imagine living without him.
So now in my memories, I think of him and want to say, “Please be my Valentine forever”. I love you and miss you.