Years ago it was a different matter.
I remember going out and picking wild flowers for my first wife. She found the gesture romantic and was impressed that I’d gone to the effort of actually picking the flowers. The truth behind my motive was simpler and more down to earth. We were very broke. I mean one step from destitute. Flowers were expensive even back then. Especially roses.
My first marriage never really got out of the “destitute” phase and when it ended, I think we both started to make more in the way of money. Odd.
My second marriage faired little better. My second wife was of the opinion that it was silly and sort of stupid to pick one day out of the year to show how much I loved her. After several years of this (to me) confusing attitude I began to agree. Sic transit wifey number 2.
I have had relationships with other girls and women over the years but I can’t really remember celebrating this holiday with anyone else.
So much for romance and love.
I do have one fond memory of this day though and it has nothing to do with romance.
When my brother and I were little, our father would come home every Valentine’s Day with three boxes of chocolate and three Valentine’s Day cards. This busy man, who ran his own building business and got up before the sun every morning, who never finished until after the sun had gone down, who did everything on the job that he expected his men to do,always took the time to get the chocolates and the cards for Mom and us.
Oh Mom’s box of chocolate was much bigger, but that didn’t matter because we would get to help her eat them anyway. The card for Momwas always funny, as was ours. Mom’s of course was romantically funny. I still don’t know how he found the time.
But the thing that makes this memory so special, so important, and so impressive was this: This busy man who took the time to do this for his wife and kids, did so on his own birthday.
So when I call my Dad later this evening for his ‘Happy Birthday’ call, I’ll remind him about how much this gesture meant to me. A gesture that he unfailingly made every year on his own special day. Only stopping when we boys got too old for it.
So I may not be an expert on romance but if what my Dad did for his own family isn’t a great example of love. I don’t know what is.
Happy Birthday Dad