Poignancy Alert! Okay, I will upfront apologize if this brings a pang of hurt to anyone, but there are moments when I do engage in bittersweet emotional content and this is such a moment.
Valentine’s Day can carry a lot of significance whether you agree with that position or not. Back in my single days, I spent about as many Valentine’s Days without anyone special as with someone. And yes, when there was someone, we joined the throngs at the crowded restaurants to pay extra for the special dinner.
So, when Valentine’s Day came around after I was married to my first husband, it happened to be on a Friday. I waited all day for flowers to be delivered to my office. Friday was traditionally big Happy Hour at the Officer’s Club. Since my husband and I were in different units and therefore met at the Club, I thought – ah, he’s bringing the bouquet there. Nope, and not a word to me as we all enjoyed the evening. At some point, I allowed my temper to peek through enough to ask if he’d forgotten what day it was. Of course not, was his reply and drew me a valentine on a bar napkin. As the saying goes, “I was not amused”. The next day I was still pretty P.O.’d and when I returned from errands, there was the lovely bouquet on the dining room table. “How could you think I would actually forget?”, was his question as he did admit he waited too late to call for the florist to be able to deliver on Friday. I did accept the apology and fast-forward one year.
Most of you who follow the blog know my first husband was killed in an accident when our son was only four months old. It was not long before Valentine’s Day and we were physically separated due to attending different Army schools. I was in Maryland and he was in Virginia. My parents came up from Louisiana and Daddy drove me to Fort Eustis in Newport News for the memorial service and to take some of my husband’s personal stuff before the rest was placed into temporary storage. As I was going through the desk, I found this big beautiful Valentine’s Day card he had bought in plenty of time. You can imagine my intense reaction. That’s been a very long time ago, but it’s one of those memories I suspect will stay with me forever.