Extending Valentine’s Day Beyond February 14th

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On Valentine’s Day this year, John bought me a beautiful bouquet of red roses; I bought him a card that had a message I knew he would like, and we ate lunch at the Thai restaurant. After four days, the rose bouquet, with the card standing beside it, is still setting on the table but it looks a bit wilted; Sunday lunch was long ago digested, and we are back to our usual menu. Unlike the roses, however, our love for one another has not wilted.

What makes Valentine’s Day most meaningful for us is the way that we express love to one another in the other 364 days of the year.

For example, this morning John has been plunging the kitchen sink, which has gradually drained more and more slowly. Last night, the water would not go down at all. Finally, realizing that plunging will not do the job, he went off to the hardware store to buy a tool and a new pipe. Hopefully, with a bit of ingenuity and a few hours of work, he will get rid of the sludge in the drain. Instead of feeling frustrated about not being able to use the sink and complaining about the inconvenience, I’m very thankful for his plumber skills.  A few hugs and verbal expressions of my gratitude help keep him motivated.

It’s the conscious choices that we make to handle the not-so-romantic challenges of each day in a caring and respectful manner that helps to extend Valentine’s Day beyond February 14th. 

It helps, also, to have a sense of humor. A few years ago, when John did not have the money to buy me roses, I wrote this little jingle:

I married a man who looks like Moses;
He gives me hugs instead of roses.

Here is this week’s revised verse with a few lines added onto it.

I married a man who looks like Moses;
His love is better than dozens of roses.

He’s plumber, poet, bird-lover, teacher,
Grandfather, skier—a remarkable creature

My talents are almost as varied as John’s;
But, of course, they differ; that has pros and cons.

Our love has grown deeper because of this fact:
We’ve learned to listen, instead of react.

Not just to each other but also to God.
It’s been forty-nine years; we feel thankful and awed;

So glad that we stayed when problems arose—
Kept our commitment–did not come to “blows.”

So thankful for grace to give and forgive;
So blessed and so eager for what lies ahead.

8 thoughts on “Extending Valentine’s Day Beyond February 14th

  1. I like reading your postings, Jane. Glad you folks stayed together too.Even tho I have never met you or John, I still remember you are cousins, and I have been in John’s parent’s home often as I was growing up, and still in touch with his sister Barbara.. Keep writing.

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