I’m not sure it was intentional that I was in black from head to toe this Valentine’s Day.
Much as I scurried furiously backward from Father’s Day displays, it most certainly was my intention to stay away from valentine displays, laden with cards “for my husband” with pre-printed thoughts from someone else’s hand.
I have a very different card that Jim made for me on our last Valentine’s Day, when he gave me the necklace whose chain now also carries his wedding ring with me.
Entwined in my mind are the story of my first Mother’s Day and my husband’s last Valentine’s Day, when he gave me the card and the necklace.
Last year I wrote a valentine to my family.
On a day devoted to romantic love, today’s valentine is for friends–the friends who help take care of my children and me, who indulge my idiosyncratic wishes (including a pirate party for my Birthday of Significance, despite my being well over the age of ten), who remember the dates that mire me in extra-strength longing for Jim, who craftily steal the dinner check, and who brainstorm solutions to my seemingly endless parade of problems.
Technically I was a caregiver for my husband during his illness. Friends are the true caregivers in life.
When the snow drifts melt and mud season eases into spring green, come dance with me on the river’s edge. I’ll be there until the colors fade for you, too.