Monday’s Musings—Valentine’s Day Memories

Women. Do you want a sensitive, thoughtful, caring husband? I have one word for you. Steroids.

I attended the Writing for the Soul Conference in Denver this week. I even went two days early to visit friends in Wyoming. (It’s the state below Montana and above Colorado.) So my husband was without me for six days. Add to that he had shingles. Broke out the day before I left. Sores covered the left side of his head, around his eye and under his neck. We visited the doctor and an eye specialist who loaded us down with approximately 5,439 pills for Tom to take several times a day. One of those meds was steroids.

I was concerned about leaving him, but he insisted. He texted me a few times with gruesome pics of his face, but seemed to be functioning fine. I arrived home Sunday evening to find a few spots on his forehead.

As you can imagine, I hardly thought about Valentine’s Day. We don’t pay much attention to it. Oh sure, the first ten years of our marriage, I waited for the perfect gift. There was always a gift, but rarely do gifts live up to a newly married woman’s expectations.

As the years went on, we discovered a better way to celebrate the Holiday. We went to the Hallmark section of our local grocery store and sifted through the choices. After about twenty minutes of reading we each chose a card. Then, with a grand gesture we’d present it to the other to read. We’d either laugh or cry, (depending on its sentiment), hug, kiss, AND THEN WE PUT THE CARD BACK IN THE RACK!

Fact is, I know my husband loves me. He doesn’t have to prove it. We’ve been dating once a week for about fifteen years. Just because it’s February 14th doesn’t make much difference.

So this year, I was expecting the same card-swap-thing. But, Tom bought me an actual gift. Gave it to me this morning. It was an old marshmallow tin with a sweet, sappy card, and a stuffed bear with Ghirardelli chocolates around its neck. It even sat on more chocolate. Not only was it the perfect gift, it brought back memories.

When we first met, I attended Asbury College in Kentucky. Tom lived in Florida. One day when I went to my mailbox, I found a large package. It contained a ham, cookies, chips, and a marshmallow tin. In the tin was a stuffed bear, a card, and a plane ticket to Florida.

So I’d like to think the romantic gift was born out of his intense love for me. But I’m leaning toward the steroids. He told me he bawled singing a song in church. Not that Tom doesn’t cry. Like when the Bucs got beat in the playoffs. Or when they had to postpone the Daytona 500. He confessed that he even got choked up talking about me when he was at dinner with our grad-school-daughter and college-student-son.

I’m feeling a little romantic myself. I think I might even buy him a card. Tomorrow—when it’s half price.

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