As a blogger, I love to read other blogs. I’ve found this can be very addicting and I’m always amazed at the number of very talented writers out there in the blogosphere. Today, I’ve read many posts about Valentine’s Day. Ahhhh…. February 14th. The day of romance and the day set aside to celebrate love. The day some people love to hate. While reading blogs today, I’ve cried and I’ve laughed. I’ve chuckled as I’ve read blogs by the Valentine’s Day bashers– the people who feel that love should be celebrated every day and who feel Valentine’s Day shouldn’t even exist– that it’s just another day that has been over commercialized. Some of the stories I’ve read really tugged at my heart-strings– stories of true love that have withstood the test of time. Yep, I found myself reaching for the tissues quite a bit today.
I have nothing but fond memories of Valentine’s Day as a child. In elementary school, it was always a fun day to celebrate. The teachers always let us make a container to hold our valentine greetings. Sometimes it was turned into a competition where one lucky student would win a prize for having the “best valentine container.” My father always had cigar boxes around and so my container was usually a cigar box covered in red felt, trimmed in white lace, and decorated with hearts and flowers. It was fun making out my valentine cards for my classmates and it was always fun delivering those cards to the individual boxes or containers. There were sure some creative ones. And then there was always the classroom Valentine’s Day party where the room mothers would descend on us bearing candy, cookies, punch, party favors, and fun games for all to play where the winner (or winners) would be awarded prizes. There was usually a fun homemade craft to make too. Fun times.
I’ve always been a romantic and I happen to love Valentine’s Day. I put up a few decorations around the house and my deck is lined with strings of red lights. I’m married to a nurse though and I can’t remember the last time he didn’t have to work on Valentine’s day. After 27 years of marriage, I’ve gotten used to it and it doesn’t bother me. We usually just celebrate a day or so early with a dinner out. Nothing fancy for this girl. Just being together…. that’s all that matters.
My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We went out on a few dates our senior year in high school. I believe I asked HIM out instead of the other way around and that was a little unusual for back in the 70s. He had told a good friend of mine that he was interested in me and wanted to ask me out. I waited and I waited. I flirted and I waited some more. Finally, I got tired of waiting, it was band banquet time, and so I asked him to go with me to the band banquet. He said yes. Our dates were very casual and we enjoyed being with each other but we seemed to take a break when college started (life got very busy) and resumed dating the summer after our first year of college.
Our first Valentine’s Day together was in 1979. By this time, I was already figuring out that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We were attending colleges in different cities but saw each other on weekends. We also wrote to each other weekly. I still have every single romantic letter he wrote me. They make me laugh, they make me cry.
After college, he went on to pursue another degree, and I went on to veterinary school. We no longer got to see each other on weekends but tried to see each other once a month. We still wrote weekly. By this time, we were sure we would marry, but we both wanted to be completely and forever done with school before we married (a decision we have never regretted). Long distance relationships are difficult. I can attest to that! But we survived and married just a short time after I graduated from veterinary school after 8 years of dating. Our wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. I was deeply in love with this man, who I had waited eight years to be with. My parents both adored him and it meant a great deal to have their blessings on our marriage. My father, who never really thought any boy was good enough for his daughters (aren’t all father’s like that?), dearly loved my husband-to-be. My parents both let me know that I was blessed to be getting this man for a husband and they told me they could not have asked for a nicer son-in-law.
I dont’ know why, but a moment that really stands out in my memory is the day after we were married. We were in the car driving to our honeymoon destination, The Poconos honeymoon resort in Pennsylvania. I was sitting right next to my brand new husband in the front seat and I looked at him and told him, “We’re no longer girlfriend and boyfriend, but husband and wife.” It was such an extraordinary feeling and one I can’t really put into words. We had a fabulous honeymoon in Pennsylvania. One night we played The Newlywed Game with several other newlywed couples on a stage in the dining area in front of lots of people. Talk about being a little tense! I’m happy to report that we got every single question right and were the ONLY couple on stage to not miss a single question (yep didn’t miss a one)!! That night we won a bottle of champagne and a trophy. After a few days and nights in the Poconos, we drove to Niagara Falls and spent 3 nights there. We loved it there. I have happy memories bonding with my new husband as we sat on benches at night and marveled at the colored lights on the falls or stood by the falls holding hands and just taking it all in. It was endearing to me to see other honeymooners standing by the falls and sharing romantic kisses. My dream of going to Niagara Falls on my honeymoon had come true.
Four years later, we brought home our first child, a son. Three years after that, we brought home our second son. We’ve been through a lot over the years, raising those two sons. We’ve been through the deaths of both my parents. My husband has always been my rock throughout our marriage. He’s kind and caring and thoughtful and the best husband I could have ever asked for. If I had to pick a husband all over again, you know what? I’d definitely pick this one all over again. And I mean that with all my heart. I think that says a lot.