Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's gifts

Steve and I were never huge Valentine's Day people. We celebrated, but nothing fancy or over the top.

Among our most memorable: 1993, when we got back together after a brief breakup (a story that alarms many of my friends). And 1999, when Steve was working in St. Louis and I was working in Dallas. I was a semifinalist in a Hallmark writing contest, earning roses and chocolate-covered strawberries for my Valentine. I flew to St. Louis to visit for the weekend and we took swing dance lessons.

Despite my ambivalence toward Feb. 14, when the person you are meant to spend your whole life with is no longer here on earth, the day can take on more sadness than a run-of-the-mill day.

Unless you're surrounded by a different kind of love.

Today I was spoiled. Flowers from Liz W. and Jim and Betty. Surprise dinner from Julianne. Card and gift from Katrina. Gifts from Cooper and Katie, courtesy of Aunt Ami, who was here last weekend and bought exactly what the kids asked her to get. Texts and phone calls and emails from other dear friends who know me well.

Plus, I was able to spend time in Katie's classroom, leading her Valentine's Day party.

And I am blessed with the very best perennial Valentine's gift -- the presence and life and light and love of Cooper and Katie. They represent so much of Steve and so much of Steve and me -- our values, personalities, quirks. And yet Cooper is his own young man, Katie her own girl.
Before school this morning

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