February 13, 2016
This has been a difficult holiday for me at various times of my life. Growing up it wasn't a holiday our family celebrated. Being immigrants, my parents didn't really celebrate the traditional holidays that were celebrated in America. We also didn't celebrate Thanksgiving, nor the 4th of July.
A few times during my teenage years I remember having a boyfriend who sent a card or flowers or chocolates. Very sweet. What a great holiday, just a day to express love. I was definitely adding this one onto my calendar of special days to be celebrated.
I got married and had children. I made Valentines with the kids. I'm not sure they still do this, but back then the kids in school all exchanged cards. At home we used construction paper and crayons, glue and doilies to make cards for daddy.
Unfortunately for me, my husband believed Valentine's Day was a Hallmark holiday. It meant nothing to him and he "forgot" it every year. This was quite a painful blow during the years we were married, silly as that may be. Worse is that our sons seem to have picked this up from him. Don't they remember my role in making Valentine's Day special? They are now 39 and 35 years old and I still send them cards on Valentine's Day.
Luckily, William did believe that Valentine's Day was special. He was never caught unawares on February 14th. Minimally, he had a card and flowers. Some years there were other gifts, chocolates, perfume, jewelry. Three years ago he brought me a giraffe so large he had to take it back. It was so much fun, he snuck it upstairs into my bedroom and put it in front of the window. I don't think he even minded returning it, like the surprise was enough.
Tomorrow will be my first Valentine's Day without him, but I'm smiling because we had many years of celebrating a silly little remember-your-love holiday that some believe in and some don't. We did.
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