It’s Valentine’s Day today. I see the heart shaped boxes of chocolate. I imagine all of the floral bouquets being assembled and delivered today. Expressions of love will be given and received. Expressions of affection that are sometimes hard to articulate will be printed in cards signed by those who wish they could be so eloquent. It is a lovely day that is set aside as a reminder to tell each other we love them.
My husband and I are sharing our 36th Valentine’s Day together today. It marks the 32nd Valentine’s Day celebrated as a married couple. Valentine’s Day in the early years of courtship and engagement were grand expressions of love. After marriage, the children began to come, so Valentine’s Day was turned into more of a family expression of love. Regardless of how we have celebrated the day, it has always been reflected in a way that represented the depth of the relationship.
I have been thinking about what type of token of affection that I wanted to give for the past week. Over the past week I have reflected on the ways our relationship has changed over the past 36 years. I have been thinking about how the twists and turns of our personal story have had one consistent theme: we have always walked beside each other.
I like a Valentine’s gift as much as anyone but it is the small everyday kindnesses that mean more to me than the Grand Gesture. Everybody who knows me knows that I hate one-ply toilet paper. Every time we go out of town my husband always produces a roll of Charmin three-ply from his suitcase. He knows me so well.
He always calls when he leaves the office to ask if I need him to bring me anything. Do I need anything from Walgreen’s or the grocery store? He never produces the Loud Sigh like I do when asked to make an extra stop. He has so much patience.
I like the way that he has shown our daughter what to expect in a man. She deserves to be treated well and respected. I like the way that he has shown our boys how to be considerate husbands. These are lessons that can only be modeled.
We have had adversity in our lives as most couples do. It has never occurred to me that we would do anything other than face them together. He is strong when I am weak. I am strong when he is weak. I am not trying to pretend that our marriage is perfect. I will freely admit that once or twice when his snoring has kept me awake I have fantasized about covering his face with a pillow. But then it was pointed out to me that I snore as well. So I had to let that annoyance go. I am thankful that I have someone to share the good times with and someone to cry with when things are hard.
I would like to share a poem that is from the book Rivers of Thought by Martin Buxbaum. When my grandmother passed away this was in one of her dresser drawers. I was only 19 years old at the time. I thought this poem was beautiful then, but 38 years later I appreciate it even more.
They pity us, my own, and think…that we are “settled,” “bored”… for they have just found love themselves…and think it unexplored.
These many years that we’ve been wed…these many children, too… these evenings when we merely sit…if they but only knew.
They’d never dream, we watched the moon…just two and a guitar…or saw the firelight flicker…on the water like a star…or that we’ve knows the holiness of love so new it scared…or kindled fires of ecstasy…that smoldered hot then flared.
No, we won’t tell them anything…for they must learn as we…that passion is a noisy thing…but love lives quietly.
I hope someone tells you they love you today… a spouse, a child, a friend. If not, please know that I care about you and I hope something beautiful happens to you today.
Peace and Love.
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.