I found a picture of my husband “stealing a kiss” during our wedding party (the reception after the reception). This is the 17th Valentine’s Day since we first met. Seventeen February 14ths for me and the boy with the silver Firebird. Clearly, I recall the afternoon he pulled into my apartment complex with his sports car for an impromptu ‘date’ in Broadripple. OK, I shouldn’t lie. I called it a date. He called it “stop by for dinner at Arby’s on the way to a concert at the Vogue.” But….whatever it was, I’m sure I did not come down from the high of a roast beef & curly fry supper for several days.
“Bummer Valentine’s Day” 1997 we did not go out. He was having a hard time realizing that we were in love and getting married. I knew…He did not.
“Ecstatic Valentine’s Day” 1998 we went to dinner and a Tap Dogs concert. He was starting to understand our future together!
“Apprehensive Valentine’s Day” 1999 we made an Italian dinner for our parents to let them know I was leaving for a year-long contract with Royal Caribbean. We had so many questions about how our relationship would fare! This, by the way, prompted our engagement!
“Optimistic Valentine’s Day” 2000 we were deep into wedding plans.
Every Valentine’s Day since falling in love with one, A. Casey Stanley, marks another year on a journey with the man I love, respect, and adore.
But not all days along the way have been “happy.” Nope. Some days have been hard, sad, disappointing, and less like the perfect smiling couples that model for Hallmark cards. Others days have been fulfilling, blessed, crazy, and hectic. So, “Happy Valentine’s Day” just doesn’t seem to sum up a day devoted to my soul-mate, counterpart, co-parent, love, and best friend.
Today, I’m wishing you a “Grateful Valentine’s Day” because its important to stop and give thanks for the ups, downs, spins, and curves of our relationships. To be grateful for what has survived through all kinds of days. With God’s grace, we can celebrate messy, difficult, beautiful, possible LOVE.
This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son… 1 John 4.10