Now that the retail industry has completely exploited our desire to celebrate what we view as special occasions, Valentine’s Day is nearly here. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a huge fan of chocolates and roses and beautiful words. But Valentines Day is one day I don’t actually recognise/celebrate on the day, as a day – not for the last 22 years, at least.
I am doing this blog post now, before the fact. And also because tomorrow I will be helping move my mother and the other residents in her current care home to a new facility.
I wrote the following story for Valentine’s Day about three years ago. I wanted it to go viral – not with my name attached and not because of wanting recognition…
But because I wanted people to ‘get it’.
I’d appreciate it if you’d take the time to read it.
“I feel like I should go.”
“Whenever you’re ready.”
“Not yet. I think I’ll have some more juice first.”
She smiled and filled his glass, and then plopped into the chair next to him, sighing deeply. He smiled, raised his glass to her, and said,
“Here’s to us.”
She winked and gave him the biggest smile she could. Then she giggled,
“Happy Valentine’s Day.”
He rolled his eyes and they laughed together. They’d been together for ten years and had never yet ‘properly’ celebrated a Valentine’s Day together.
This was the thing that had drawn them together in the first place – the knowledge and desire to live every day as Valentine’s Day.
To do things with love – loving strangers and animals and friends, and inadvertently loving themselves.
Every day the opportunity to love each other was not wasted.
Every week he brought something new for the garden – so her house had a permanent supply of her favourite plants and flowers.
Breakfast in bed, taking turns with housework, a surprise bottle of champagne or dinner out… these things were not just saved for special occasions.
Uplifting words of love and encouragement, and exclamations at their good looks and intelligence, were a daily thing.
So when Valentine’s Day came around, it was just another day for them.
He reached for her hand, and stroked it gently, asking,
“Do you think they’ll ever get it?”
She shrugged and replied solemnly,
“Some do, and that counts.”
He nodded thoughtfully, and then said,
“I broke our rule a bit…I got you something for Valentine’s Day. It’s in the cupboard.”
Raising an eyebrow, she retrieved a large, flat box from its hiding place.
As she slowly lifted the lid with a frown, he grinned,
“Don’t be too mad. It’s for the baby.”
Instinctively, her hand rested on her swollen belly for a moment, and she caressed the bundle that had been nestling there for the past seven months. Then she smiled lovingly at him, and opened the lid.
She lifted out the large scrapbook, entitled ‘The Love Journal’, and began to page through it. Unable to hold back the tears any longer, she let them travel a silent path down her cheeks, wetting her neck, as she saw what he’d done.
He had taken their photo’s and memories as a couple and filled the book with them, as well as tips and quotes on each page, as a reminder and guide to the beauty of loving every day – doing things for others unselfishly. At the end of the book, in a sleeve, was a voucher to purchase another journal – she removed it from its plastic resting place and gave him a watery smile,
“For me and the baby?”
He nodded, a tear escaping from the corner of his eye. She gently nestled in next to him and held him tightly when he said,
“I guess I’m ready.”
Looking up at his handsome face, she kissed his chin and whispered,
“I love you.”
He held her, and whispered words of love to her. Then laying a hand on her stomach, he whispered a little more, before closing his eyes.
The doctor and nurse watched from the doorway, tears streaming down their cheeks, listening and waiting patiently for the young couple to say their goodbyes. As he took his last breath, each of them knew in their hearts that they had got it.
~~ Written by Meg ~~
Wishing you all flowers and sweetness and an abundance of love EVERY day!
Happy Valentine’s ❤