Valentine’s Day is usually pretty low-key in my family. It’s not that we’re anti-Valentine’s Day. I think it’s sweet to have a day where we take a little extra time to show our love to one another. Yes, of course we should express our love every day and I don’t think this one day takes the place of all that. But it’s kind of sweet to spend one day devoted to love.
Most of the time we mark the day with little things – pink heart shaped pancakes for breakfast, heart sandwiches for lunch, and heart pizza for dinner. We do special things for each other like taking care of a chore or making them a favourite treat , make homemade Valentines (nothing says love to me like something created by a loved one’s own hands), and watch sappy sweet movies.
One Valentine’s Day really stands out for me. I was 13 years old and had just woken up on February 14th. I sat up, rubbing my eyes and trying to orient myself when I realized that it was the sound of the doorbell that had awakened me. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my bathrobe and ran for the door. I was home alone – both parents had to work. When I opened the door, there was a delivery man. Or at least, I assumed he was there somewhere because his face was obscured by a giant bouquet of long stemmed roses at first. I waited for him to ask for my mom and smiled, thinking how lucky she was to have someone as special as my dad. I mean, obviously these were his Valentine gift to her, right?
Instead, he said my name. I stood there, confused for a moment. He said my name again. “Umm, oh yes, that’s me.” “These are for you,” he said as he handed me the bouquet. I’m not even sure if I thanked him as I took the flowers and shut the door. Who could possibly be sending ME flowers, I wondered. I was only 13 and even if I had a “boyfriend”, at that age, they certainly wouldn’t be sending me such expensive flowers.
I sat down and opened the card. Blinking back tears, I read “Soon there will be a long line of suitors here for you and I wanted to be the very first man to give you flowers. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Dad”. Even as I type this, the tears form in my eyes again. How many men do something this special and touching for their daughters? But, it’s really quite a perfect representation in one simple little act of just what kind of amazing man my dad was. He may be physically gone from this earth but his love lives on forever. And isn’t that just what Valentine’s Day is all about?