There Is No “Step” In My Love For Her…

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I stayed up long after my family went to bed last night just so I could decorate the kitchen for Valentine’s Day.  We have been snowed in here in North Carolina since Tuesday, so I had to think of a homemade way to tell my family just how much they mean to me on this special day.

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They ARE my life… nothing else matters.

I made a heart for each person in my family and I wrote all the things that I love about them.  On Joe’s, I wrote a letter telling him all of the many reasons I love him.  This is the heart I made for my daughter Crawford:

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So many people have a cynical view of Valentine’s Day, but even though I have spent most of my life not celebrating it with a “Valentine,” I see it as such a joyous celebration of love and life.  It’s a day that makes me want to be even kinder to everyone I encounter – whether it be at work or Starbucks.  No matter who you are, you know that it feels good to be loved.

When my husband walked out of the bedroom this morning, I literally popped up in bed with a smile.  I can’t explain the joy I felt just knowing that he would feel loved when he walked into the kitchen and saw his heart.  I reached over and read an email telling me about the death of my friend’s husband who has been fighting cancer.

My heart fell… and it fell far.

What a juxtaposition of feelings I was feeling.  The joy of love and life.  The sadness of loss and death.  All within a few moments.  My sweet husband brought me breakfast in bed soon after and all I could do was think about my friend losing her husband… on Valentine’s Day.  It certainly set the stage for a pretty sad day.

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He loves me…

It was slow moving this morning as I got ready for work.  I started letting everything bother me.  I got sad thinking about not having my daughter and son with me on Valentine’s Day.  Silly, I know.  It’s not like it’s a “major holiday,” but I was disappointed just the same. My heart was feeling very weighted down.

Then my sweet step-daughter came skipping into my bathroom and said, “Do you want to dress up with me today?”  She wanted to wear a heart bathrobe and a pink hairbow to go to work with me.  In a quick dismissal I said, “It’s a place of business, so we need to look nice.”  As she walked out of the room looking disappointed, I decided in that moment that I couldn’t let the bad news ruin my entire day.  I needed to live my day to the fullest and do whatever I could to make the day a little better for someone, ANYONE, else.

So Hattie and I headed in to work and she said, “Since I am not at school today and can’t tell all my classmates Happy Valentine’s Day, I am going to tell everyone I see Happy Valentine’s Day from this point on…”

And she did.

For the rest of the day, that sweet girl said “Happy Valentine’s Day” to EVERYONE she encountered.  One of my co-workers took her down to get cupcakes for the office and she said it to every person in the cafe (including my boss – who she didn’t know was my boss).

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Yummy cupcakes from Cafe Carolina

When we left work, she spoke to every person we passed on the way to the car.  Once in the car, she yelled out the window to people on the side of the road and people pumping gas.  She said it to the homeless man sitting alone in the corner at Starbucks.  She said it to the old couple getting in their car next to us.  Here is a quick video I took: http://youtu.be/jQJrw8OAFso.

She had said she would stop once she got to 30, but once she got to 30 she said, “You know how sometimes you have extra valentines, so you give those out too?  I’m going for the extra.”

SHE MADE MY DAY.  And not to mention she made the day of numerous people all over Raleigh.  And all by showing just a little bit of kindness and a smile.  And that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.  It’s not about romantic love.  It’s about showing those around us love and by showing those we love just how much we love them.  THAT is what it’s all about.  It’s about making others feel good.  It’s about spending time when people. It’s about telling our family and friends WHY we love them.

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My valentine for my dashingly handsome husband….

Tonight at dinner, when my step-daughter said to my husband, “We had the best day ever,” I realized just how much joy she brought to my day.  And then she looked at me and said, “I have a poem for you for Valentine’s Day: Roses are red, violets are blue, Yes I have a big smile, but you do too.”

Yes, sweet girl.  I do tonight and it is because of you…

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One thought on “There Is No “Step” In My Love For Her…

  1. I loved reading this, and I think you know why. Losing a loved one is never easy, especially your spouse, I know all too well. But ironically I was just discussing this very thing with my minister the other morning. I haven’t been to church a lot in the last few years because that is where my first husband and I got married; and, sadly, where we held his memorial service a year and a half later. Since I remarried last June, my husband and step-children have been discussing going back to church and how much it means to all of us. So we have, and it has been a wonderful addition to our lives together. Frank has joined the choir, which brings him so much happiness that it makes me beam to see him up there during service. Last Sunday, while I was sitting in the sanctuary waiting for services to begin, the minister came in to do some preparations as well. We started talking, as I was the only one in there since Frank had to be in early for choir. I realized I had not really gotten to know this man that was ministering to me now each week. See, shortly after my 1st husband passed away, the minister that we had known moved on to become the Superintendent of another district. So this man, this minister, was now here. I hadn’t bothered to get to know him because I wasn’t sure if my heart would allow it. As I sat talking to him last Sunday though, I realized how God puts people in the right places at the right times. “Rev. Ken” said that the associate minister, whom I have known for years, was telling him my story the other day. Then he said something that shocked me. “I lost my first wife, too.” Right then I realized… he got it. He understood why I had not been back in years, he understood the hurt, the pain, the confusion and the solitude that I had felt for so long. He even said to me, “Didn’t you get tired of people asking you how you were, or how you were getting by so well?” We kind of laughed about it, knowing the silent thoughts we were both thinking as other members of the congregation starting trickling into the sanctuary. He smiled at me with his larger-than-life Cheshire cat grin, and said, “we’ll talk again real soon, I’m so glad you’re here and you’re happy.”
    A lot of people walk around feeling sorry for themselves, wondering why life has not given them the things they want. To be truly happy, you cannot think that way. You have to be grateful for what GOD has given you because that is what you NEED. Bad things happen, it’s part of life. Your character and how people perceive you are based on how you react to those things, as well as the good things. God gives you people in your life at the right time and place. Not by accident, very purposefully. I am glad that Hattie could be there for you on that day. And I love you.

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