Lots of people make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. Okay—not lots of people—just lots of women.
For many guys, Valentine’s Day isn’t even on their radar until they start picking up on hints from their Significant Other or even finally pay attention to all the signs around them—commercials on TV or the radio, ads in the newspaper, and conversations around the office (either among women gathering in the break room or panicked men in the restroom who’ve just realized the February 14th deadline is looming).
My local Kroger started making it incredibly easy for men in recent years. They pitch a huge, you-can’t-miss-it, white tent in their parking lot 2 weeks before the Big Day. Then on Valentine’s Day, a man can drive through, pick up, and pay for a dozen roses and/or candy. Think about that—the perfect Lazy Man’s Way to bring flowers to his loved one—all without stepping out of his car!
I’ve never been focused on that single day to celebrate love. It’s nice if my husband brings me flowers or takes me to dinner, but it’s not a requirement for our marriage to continue to February 15th and beyond each year. I’m actually happy with a simple card from him. Some years it’s a funny one (I did fall in love with him in part because of his wicked sense of humor). Other years it’s appropriately mushy and makes me tear up. Either way, it’s a nice gesture and a special keepsake. I have every Valentine’s card he’s given me through the years.
This year I won’t be receiving a card from him. But I have already received a far greater gift from him than ever before.
What? The gift of another day with him in my life.
I think many of us take for granted those we love. We fall into daily routines alongside our mates, and days lead into other days, often with us not expressing how much we really love that special someone in our lives.
A week ago, my safe and secure world was rocked to its core. My husband suffered a stroke. He realized something was off, and we got him proper medical care in time. He’s already making amazing progress. In fact, if you’d just met him for the first time and held a conversation, you wouldn’t have a clue he’d suffered any kind of recent trauma. He will need to learn how to use his dominant hand again to write and eat, but it’s the best prognosis we could’ve hoped for. The outpouring of love from our friends and families and their round-the-clock prayers have made such a difference.
He’s not the kind of guy who shops for a card in advance, so I know I won’t receive my usual Valentine from him this year as in years past.
But what I am getting is a more valuable treasure than all the cards and candy and flowers and romantic dinners in the world.
I have my husband this February 14th. And that’s the best Valentine’s Day gift of all. He was the inspiration for my hero Jed in my recent release, A Game of Chance, and as I write my historical romances, I hope we’ll continue to write our own love story for many more years to come.