When I was a married woman, my husband used to start Valentine’s evening with rose petals on the stairs. Notes would lead to the bedroom, and a very large box of Godiva chocolates under my pillow.
What would happen next is…. a little too adult for this blog, and would totally gross my kids out, anyway!
Since Chris died, Valentine’s day hasn’t really bothered me all that much. I like to see love celebrated, and am delighted for all of my friends who are in a love relationship. I needle my closer ones goodnaturedly, telling them to be extra loving to their spouses that night, because tomorrow isn’t necessarily a given.
They put up with such a mildly morbid thought, because they love me, and in their hearts, they know it’s true. I miss the rose petals, and the Godiva, and of course, the……
As my children mature, they have more and more questions about what a real love relationship is like. As most of you know, Chris had a very rocky upbringing, and this made him a challenge to love well. But as a mother, certain refrains develop with your kids.
Ever notice that? Mommy tapes? Can’t you just hear your mother saying “Eat your vegetables! They’re good for you!” “Do your homework before your television!” “No cookies before dinner!” and on and on and on.
One of my favorite refrains with my kids is “Nothing, absolutely nothing, worth having is easy.” I believe that with all my heart.
The twenty three years I spent with Chris, I wouldn’t have traded for the world. They were not easy. But when I held that fragile hand for the last time, I was glad I had known him. We had the real thing, something to be celebrated.
This extraordinary Valentine was accompanied by this note: Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom. Imagine this as a small token of love from Dad. It says that you are a great Mom who is supportive, dedicated, strong and loving. I know you miss him as much as I do, and I hope these flowers brighten today.
Love, Your son,
Yah, I’m all teary too.