I hope everyone out there has the chance to let someone know how much you love them. I hope some of you take the chance and let someone know how much you love them. And I hope that a few of you already know that someone loves you.
Valentines Day has always been a big deal in my family. It’s one of the only family traditions that I like to carry on with. All of the other traditions have fallen through the cracks. My grandmother’s birthday was February 13th. My grandparents were married on February 14th. The story is that my grandfather fell in love with her 9 years before they were married. She was 9 years old then and her parents told her she could marry her childhood sweetheart when she turned 18. So they married the day after her 18th birthday on Valentines Day.
Every year he would get her the best presents. A new engagement ring, chocolate covered cherries, which were her favorite, and one year he bought her a car. Of course, the car was the worst gift considering my grandmother didn’t have her drivers license then. She attended driving school, got her license and practiced driving by taking me to kindergarten every morning. She hated driving.
After backing into the pear tree in our front yard several times and finally spending the afternoon in a ravine because she had run off of the road in a panic, my grandfather finally took her keys and her drivers license away from her. When he asked her how she ended up in the ravine she told him that it got scary so she closed her eyes and just floored it. She thought she just might slide past and never get a scratch on her.
My grandparents were married for almost 60 years. My grandmother was a battle-ax, but my grandfather was pure love. I think I inherited my willingness to forgive and my sensitivity from him. And I know I developed my ability to tell it like it is and to never dodge a bullet by closing my eyes to the truth from my grandmother.
Life and love are not about closing your eyes to your loved one’s flaws and faults. I feel that to want to spend the rest of your life with someone means embracing the bad with the good, allowing yourself to feel the pain when it happens, to be aware when someone isn’t treating you well and then to tell them what you need from them instead of just saying fuk it.
When you close your eyes, and you wish it away, sometimes you end up in a big, dark hole, all alone.
I guess my grandparents were lucky to have spent so many years together. I know when my grandfather died it left a vacuum in our family. The softness seemed to disappear. The laughter dimmed. I have never missed someone so much in my life like I have missed him.
I think about him on Valentines Day. He waited patiently for 9 years to be with the girl he loved. Who does that anymore? I wonder what he would think of my husband. What would he think of our life together? We have been together for 17 years. We still have our eyes wide open.
Now that Valentines Day approaches we can all look forward to the love in our lives. Maybe you’ll have another chance to let someone know how much they mean to you. It never takes much to make that message heard. Just remember that Life is a box of chocolates, but Love is a box of chocolate covered cherries.