By our first Valentine’s Day together, 1975, I’d already learned that my future — seven years in the future! — husband Peter wasn’t going to be the mushy-gushy Valentine type. He often did sweet things, but he disliked intensely having to do something because the calendar or Hallmark demanded it.
I was a bit disappointed he hadn’t even bought me a card, but he redeemed himself when he suggested a walk in the park, in the fresh snow, near my house. He was not a snow-lover like me so he was back in my good graces for even thinking of it.
After we’d walked over hill and dale for a while he told me to stop. I was to stand still and face away from him. He trotted off while I admired the view. Minutes ticked by.
“OK! Turn around!” he yelled. He stood some distance away, pointing proudly to a big heart shape he’d paced off in the snow. In the center he’d “written” I love you. Way better than any card he might have purchased!
I didn’t expect any Valentine’s remembrance today, and so far I haven’t been disappointed. I stuck a silly card inside the newspaper for him and he laughed. He gave me a hug and kiss to say sorry for forgetting again. “You should have reminded me,” he said.
“What? The big red heart on your calendar wasn’t enough?” I said with a chuckle. “It’s OK, you can take me for coffee.” I handed him some cash.
We went to our favorite spot where I feasted on an almond croissant, he, an apple turnover. The bakery was more mobbed than usual for a Saturday morning. A festively dressed man played romantic songs on a keyboard.
“Do you remember our very first Valentine’s day together?” I asked my husband of now thirty-three years. “It was 1975…we met in May the year before…”
“Did we have coffee here?” he guessed.
“No-o, we weren’t even married then, and we didn’t live here anyway.”
“How can you remember that? I don’t even remember yesterday?” he sputtered.
So I told him about the heart he’d made in the snow and how sweet, how romantic, it was. He shook his head sadly and gave me an apologetic smile. Suddenly he brightened and asked, with a nod towards the musician, “Does he take requests?”
“I’m sure he would,” I said.
He sighed. “I can’t remember any romantic songs to ask him…”
We haven’t had any measurable snow yet this year, though it is snowing quite hard right this minute, and it’s sticking! Maybe later I’ll repeat the story about our first Valentine’s day, and together we can make a snowy heart in our backyard.
As long as we have memories, yesterday remains;
As long as we have hope, tomorrow waits;
As long as we have love, today is beautiful.