Last Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, hubby worked and I wished for some time to be creative about the day. I just wanted to set the day apart from every other day. However, his truck died last weekend so I counted shuttling him back and forth to work as “different” from most days. On the way home, we picked up a heart shaped pizza and the conversation went something like this . . .
“I didn’t get you . . .”
“Oh, and by the way honey” I interjected, “That Valentine’s Day gift you got me is so NICE! I don’t mind at all that you combined it with Mother’s Day as well. I’m going to love it when it arrives. Thank you!”
“I’m so glad you like it.” He responded with that all-knowing subtle smile.
His usual sweet card with personalized sentiments and no flowers because I insist (they just cost too much on holidays), and my celebratory home cooked meal would have to wait. At least until we got another vehicle.
When we got home, I showed him a photo of the gift he got me while the pizza was baking and we called it good.
It was the best we could do that day.
This was our temporary version of celebrating love. That’s the way it goes sometimes.
But I forgot about how life sometimes just happens upon us when we are unaware.
When Sunday came and life seemed to crash up against me for no reason, I slumped into an emotional pit. I wondered where my “I’m okay with ‘that’s the way it goes’ attitude” from a few days ago, went.
My high hopes of finishing the trailing ends of projects and tightening up the piece I wrote for my weekly blog post, plummeted before I even finished my morning coffee. I struggled with insignificant circumstances and a vague sense of . . . I didn’t know what. The whole day had a foggy cloud around it.
So I decided to get one errand done, give the next day a good run, and try to catch up the best I could. Getting into my car, I noticed my dashboard display. There it was. The answer to all my wondering about this day. Then I remembered other days like this, one each month, for the past year and a half. The same pattern rising up until I finally noticed the date and the unwanted anniversary.
I looked down from the display panel at the photo of my Dad and me. It was taken the last time he was able to stand on his back deck. It’s just me without any fuss and him happy to have me there. The two of us looking so much like father and daughter. Physically yes, but when I look really hard, I can see the similarities in our journeys – it’s on our faces, hidden behind our smiles, deep in our eyes. Pain and joy all wrapped up inside the Love of God.
The rest of the day’s plans washed away with the tears streaming down my face. I sat in my car. The car that would forever remind me of my Dad, with his all-knowing authoritative voice, saying, “Don’t sell that car, that’s a nice car.” He was right about that. I’m not sure how I could ever give it up now.
I thought about the way my heart just knows when it’s time to remember. I revisit love every eighteenth day of the month. I want to set it apart from every other day, but the fact is, my Dad is part of every day I walk this earth. He was my first Valentine, the first man I ever loved, and when our brown eyes meet again, it will be sweet.