Valentine's Day isn't one of my favorite days. The reality is that I only really celebrated on that day about a half-dozen times in my life, which is about how long I knew my wife. I never dated anyone else over Valentine's Day, so the day doesn't hold much happiness for me, at least in the manner it is meant to be celebrated. I always get my daughter something on Valentine's Day, but that is for a much different reason.
I remember deciding to propose to my wife on the day before Valentine's Day because I didn't want February 14th being associated with that day. I thought it would be too typical, and she might actually expect it. The 13th caught her by surprise (though I think the proposal all by itself was a surprise), and I continued to always celebrate the 13th by sending her flowers. This allowed her to celebrate and feel special on the day before everyone else she knew. I loved doing that for her.
It's kind of ironic that we got a snowstorm so close to Valentine's Day, as it reminds me of our most memorable Valentine's Day celebration. I surprised my wife with a trip to Rehoboth Beach on Valentine's Day in 2003. She had no idea where we were going. I just told her to pack a bag to a surprise destination. My parents agreed to watch Faithful Pup Scout for us while we would be away, and when we dropped her off at their place, my mother gave us a little romantic getaway basket full of candies, candles, sparkling cider, etc. We had a nice, romantic dinner at a restaurant in Rehoboth, followed by a romantic stay at a nearby hotel. We had recently decided that we would try to have a baby, and when we later found out we were expecting....well, this night was likely that moment. Anyway, the next day the blizzard hit us and we had a slow trip home through the snow. When the snow finally ended, we had almost two feet of snow.
I read a story of a couple who were in an accident, and both had received terrible burns on their bodies. The wife had it the worst, and it took a long time for her to heal. The burns completely changed her appearance, and kept her from a normal routine for a long time. They had several children whose care was dependent on the wife's sisters and parents. It made me selfishly think about my wife, and the fact that her death was so quick. She was alive, and then, literally, in the blink of an eye, she was gone. Now, I know she had a personal relationship with our Savior, and I know she has eternal life through Jesus, and that we will see each other again. But the fact that she was gone from this Earth, and that we would be apart until we were reunited in Heaven, was a difficult thing to handle. It devastated me. It hurt so much that our daughter would never know her mother, since she was only five months old when my wife died. And, as hard as this couple has it, with the terrible pain associated with the burns from the accident, I selfishly thought to myself, "At least they still have each other."
That's what life does to you when you lose your spouse. It is so hard to go on, to accept that you'll never know the love of this person again. You'll never know her kiss, her hugs, her touch.... She's gone. For the rest of this mortal life. And that is so hard to accept.
Valentine's Day becomes this reminder that I no longer have this person in my life. And it's hard. But I'm going to try hard to get over it tonight and get some sleep.
So Happy Valentine's Day to all of you, and I pray that you and your loved ones experience a love like no other. Have a wonderful evening, everyone.