[From the archives.]
Valentine’s Day 1987
Our first Valentine’s Day was supposed to be a romantic affair. I planned a meal for just the two of us, something I would cook in my then-girlfriend’s kitchen and we could eat by candle light, gazing lovingly at each other. When I arrived around 5:00 that Saturday night to start with the pots and pans, though, I was met with a change of plans.
“A friend from out of town just called. He’s in Sacramento with a flat tire and doesn’t know his way around, and his spare is shot too. I told him I’d be there as soon as possible.”
“OK,” I said. “Let’s go.”
“You’re not mad?”
“Flat tires happen.”
So we drove into Sacramento and down to the south side, about a 25 minute trip. On the way, she filled me in that this was a guy she knew from Young Life leadership, and it turned out her phone number was one of the few he had in our area and she was the first person to answer when he called. I also got the impression that he originally called thinking she could put him up for the night while he tried to find a tire place that would be open the next day, a Sunday.
By the time we got there, he’d been able to contact another friend he could stay with. He apparently figured out that she had plans and he didn’t want to intrude any further. Still, he needed a ride to their place. It turned out that their place was all the way across town on the north side of Sacramento. Another half hour or so in the car and we were dropping him off at their door.
This left us even further from our starting point, and it was 45 minutes more before we got back. All together, with driving and talking and picking up and more driving and dropping off and driving still more, it was after 7:00 when we made it back to her place.
We got take-out for dinner.
My wife and I were watching television and a Hallmark commercial came on. You can bet that this time of year, their commercials are focusing on one thing and one thing only, Valentine’s Day. This one was no exception and it hit all the sappy sentiments imaginable: tell me you love me, etc.
The commercial ended and I mimicked the first couple of the sentiments to my wife there on the couch: I love you. You’re beautiful.
She looked at me and asked about the third line, “We’re not going to grow old together?”
I laughed and said, “We’re already growing old together!”
Soon the commercial (Someone You Love Has Something They Need To Hear) came on again and I decided I’d go through the whole list for her this time. Why not? It would be a shame to waste a perfectly good sappy commercial.
I love you.
We’ll grow old together …
… in sickness and in health.
You’re still the one.
I need you.
You’re my superhero.
I’ll never let you go.
I miss you.
The thing is, by the time I finished reciting this litany of sentiments to her there on the couch, I realized that I wasn’t just mimicking a sappy commercial. I meant each and every one of them, from the first I love you to the last I miss you.
I love her more now than I did on the day we married, and she is as beautiful to me now as ever.
Growing old together with her is a life’s dream of mine, and we’ve had our share of sickness and health and good times and hard times.
She is the one for me, and God knows that she is the one I need in so many ways. I figure that’s why he’s put us together.
My wife is my superhero, able to do things that I could never do.
I never do want to let her go, and miss her when we’re apart even when I’m just out running a quick errand and about to see her again.
Yes, each and every one of that sappy commercial’s sentiments has a place in my heart. I rejoice in my wife, who is a blessing from God every moment of my life.
Happy Valentine’s Day.