Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day - my favorite holiday!
I've always loved Valentine's Day! Maybe it's because the love in relationships is SO important to me!
One of the great love examples in my life is the love my parents have for each other - sets an incredibly high bar for what love in marriage needs to be.
My friend Jolene posted this personal story on her blog today and I share it and my comment with you just because what she said touched my heart so deeply:

Mom’s Valentine’s Day Wish
Posted on February 13, 2012 by Jolene Philo and borrowed by me February 14, 2012 so I could share with you.

When Mom and I kept our standing lunch date last Tuesday, I mentioned that our next lunch would fall on Valentine’s Day. “That’s kind of fun, Mom. What would you like for Valentine’s Day?”She thought for a few seconds. “Well, what I really want for Valentine’s Day I can’t have.” She fiddled with her coffee cup. “So I might as well not mention it.”“Go ahead,” I encouraged her. “What do you really want?”“What I really want is a few more years with your dad before his mind went…” She paused and moved her fingers in a circle at the side of her head. Her brow furrowed, and her blue eyes looked sad. “…you know, before he was…”“I know,” I whispered.“He wasn’t with me that way long enough,” Mom sighed.I nodded, not knowing what to say. There are no words for Mom’s loss. Dad’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at age 29, less than 10 years after their marriage. The love of her life struck down by multiple sclerosis. The end of her dream of being the wife of a county extension agent and mother to an increasing brood of kids. The loss of the bread winner, the protector, and leader of the family she loved so much and taking on those roles for the next 38 years as Dad slowly failed and finally died at age 67.Now, 15 years after his death, what does Mom want for Valentine’s Day?Not chocolate.Not flowers.Not a card.She wants a few more years with her husband as he once was.I looked at her, across the table, and said, “We can’t know what life would have been like if he hadn’t gotten sick. But I do know the life you gave us was a good one. You raised us well.”She nodded and smiled. “I did a pretty good job, didn’t I?”“You did,” I agreed and helped her into her coat and out the door.Hiram’s off tomorrow, so we’re going down together to see Mom. We’ll take her to lunch at Culver’s, one of her favorite places to eat. Mainly because she loves their frozen turtle custard.Over dessert, we’ll tease her like Dad did. We’ll talk about his love of ice cream, his silly jokes, his infectious grin, the goofy songs he loved to sing, the cribbage rules he invented as he played.Compared to what Mom has lost, lunch at Culvers doesn’t seem like much. But perhaps, sharing memories of Dad and indulging in the laughter and dessert he loved will bring him to her in some small way. Perhaps, over frozen custard, we can give Mom a memory of what she’s wanted for Valentine’s Day for years.

Ann Holmes on February 14, 2012: Jolene –This is SO sweet and SO true!My parents are 91 – married almost 68 years. My mother has advanced dementia and my dad has Parkinson’s. He has only been able to acknowledge her dementia for the last year – denied it for years – as it was too painful to acknowledge. They love each other with an incredible love – sit as close as they can get (with a wheelchair between them) and hold hands! Daddy just wants to live longer than Mother does. He is her center in many ways. I hope you had a wonderful lunch with your mom. I love your idea! Ann

If you are married, then I wish this kind of love for you! If not, don't settle for less than this kind of love! It IS the greatest human love and is a glimpse into heaven!

1 comment:

Jolene Philo said...

Hi Ann,

Thanks for sharing my post. I'm glad it touched you. We're just back from lunch with Mom, and she had a good time. If any of you would like to see pix of my parents throughout their lives, visit www.jolenephilo.com and type "Harlan" and/or "Dorothy" in the search box.

Happy Valentine's Day to all,