Another heavily promoted day to share with those you love. Coming out of Christmas and heading into Valentine’s, it just keeps the wound open.
For the three of four years before he got sick, Kevin and I would celebrate Valentine’s Day. We would do it in style, with another couple we were friends with, actually it was a teacher he taught with. The males would coordinate the meal, serve us and always there was a ridiculously expensive bottle of wine that went with the meal. That was Kev’s contribution, anything less than $40 a bottle was ‘swill’, and it wasn’t unusual to have a bottle that cost a whole bunch more. It was always a fun evening, especially if Kevin had a drink, he was not a drinker at all and so things could get pretty outrageous if he had a glass or two. These are the memories I have of Valentine’s Day.
Fast forward to the present, and all around me people are planning their special evening. At work there is a fundraiser for the United Way, buy a bouquet and support the Way. All I can think of is the reality that my husband isn’t here to buy me flowers anymore. Not that he did often, he had a thing about buying something dead (flowers) and giving it as a gift. Early on in our marriage he’d tell me that he could hear the flowers scream in pain as they were being picked. Still, occasionally he would get me some. He’s the only one I ever wanted them from. No one else.
That’s what Valentine’s Day does for me, reminds me of sadness. A dull throbbing sadness now, still just as deep, just not as sharp. I don’t think I’m the only one. I see people all around me who are on their own, with no one to make their day ‘special’. I doubt that they get a warm fuzzy feeling about the day. I suspect it wouldn’t be so bad if big box store marketing campaigns hadn’t made it into such a pressure to celebrate. It’s really not fair on a multitude of levels, but I never ever thought about it until I was one of have-nots watching from the outside.