Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Days Gone By...

Ask my family...I love holidays and rarely does one go by without celebrating or at least decorating a room or two.  Growing up as a young girl, my mom would give my brother, sister and I each one of those 99 cent boxes of chocolate and had them waiting for us at breakfast.  This “tradition” carried over into my own family when I had children, although as they grew older, we graduated from small boxes to Toblerone or Lindt’s, and I added a candle burning with love by their breakfast plate.  In my mind, you can never express love too much to those you hold dear to your heart.

I know memories of this day are not always pleasant for a lot of people...the pain of childhood when you didn't get a Valentine and everyone else did. Or you longed for a boyfriend when your friends all had one. Or there was pain surrounding the season you were in.  But, as with any holiday, there are good memories to be remembered as well. And that is what I want to do today...remember good things.   My first Valentine’s Day with my husband-to-be, an evening out with a box of chocolates and flowers.  When our four children came along, red vinyl hearts were plastered on windows and the day was filled with baking heart-shaped cookies.  I would cook a special dinner by candlelight which all 6 of us would enjoy around a large table filled with love. Red cardboard hearts dangled from the lights. Once or twice, we ended the meal with a heart-shaped cake covered in pink frosting and red sprinkles.

As the children grew and went out with friends, my husband and I would sneak away for a quiet romantic dinner.  Once we actually remembered to make reservations well ahead of time!  A new restaurant opened ON Valentine’s Day.  It was packed, but we had reservations!  Years ago when we were first married, visiting my husband’s family in Australia, we were walking through a mall on Valentine’s Day and saw red hearts in the window.  We gasped, looked at each other and burst out laughing.  We had both forgotten!  And we’ve enjoyed Valentine’s Day dinner at church with other couples choosing to spend it with friends, laughing and sharing funny romance stories!  

The last couple of years my husband has been involved in missions trips, teaching in Bible schools and I’ve found myself without my husband on Valentine’s Day.   No pouting for me!  I have enjoyed a candlelit fancy home-cooked meal which my youngest daughter and I prepared together.  Just the two of us as we talked about relationships, romance and the right way to do this thing called marriage.  Trust me, that Valentine’s dinner was priceless!

Fifty-seven years encompassing my childhood, 27 years of marriage and 26 years of children all celebrating a day where I get to pour love on those who are so important to me.  Memories I wouldn’t trade for anything...not even chocolate :)

btw...for those who read the blog yesterday...yes, I am by myself for this Valentine's Day, BUT I did get taken out for a lovely breakfast and roses before he left!  He is the best!

Happy Valentine's, show "someone" that you care about them!


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