Now, listen. I don’t need Hallmark to drum up fuzzy feelings for all the people in my life. I don’t feel the need to rush out and spend $4 on a rhyme I could have written myself. I’m a sucker for Hallmark movies all day long, but I don’t buy into the fabricated holiday hype.
That said, I did intend to celebrate this day with the lovies that live in my house. And we looked forward to it. We bought steaks, potatoes, broccoli, and special napkins. Actually, the napkins were purchased for us by our next door neighbor, so you cannot accuse me of falling prey to the Heart Shaped Napkin Company.
We set the table at 4 p.m. We tidied the house. At 5, Todd came home to grill the steaks. And though I apparently don’t buy in to all the hype, he does. He came in the door with a Hallmark card for me, for Beloved, and for Snuggletoot. In his other hand was flowers for me and a stuffed flower (think Beanie Baby, but in carnations. I know. Weirdest thing ever. And yet they loved it!) for each girl. There were gummy bears and bags of Starburst and Double Bubble.
“Aww, sweetie, thank you. I got you this….” I then shook his hand. No, I didn’t. He got a hug. And nothing else. Because I didn’t think we were exchanging gifts. And you know, I don’t do that kind of thing. I just try to be polite and stuff. That’s a gift, right?
I was determined for this day to go well and end well. Todd was grilling and I was finishing up the sticky rice (don’t ask…we should have been born asian) in the microwave. When I opened the door up, the plate on top of the rice bowl came sliding out like a kid on a greased sled.
It was piping hot.
I mean, PIPING hot.
I had a choice: Catch it and burn my hands, or let it go and deal with piping hot shattered glass. What would you have done?
I caught it with the “aplomb of a circus performer” (that’s a quote from Lea!) and brought it to safety on the stove. I used the skin left on my hands to wipe my sweaty brow and we were back in business.
It really wasn’t that bad, but if I hadn’t caught it, this would be a very different blog, I assure you.
The meal was gobbled down by even Picky Pea Pants and though you are expecting me to tell you my perfect day jumped the tracks, it never did. We ended the night reading the “Going to Town” chapter in Little House and realizing how super spoiled we are. Laura Ingalls about lost her lunch because she saw two houses standing together in one place. My kids think they should have a house on each coast and one in the mountains. Ah well. Perhaps next year, instead of gummy bears and heart shaped napkins, they’ll each get a house.
There was a lot of love. And there will be tomorrow, too, Hallmark.
But I digress.
I really didn’t stop here to talk about me. As if. I have a blog. Who am I kidding?
I’m here to talk about my Papa. That man knew how to love. For months, since his passing, I’ve been meaning to post a couple of things he penned during the war. This seems like the perfect day to finally get around to this.
This photo shows an album page from my mom’s album. He is pictured with his army brothers. He’s the handsome fella in the middle. And below that picture is a scan of a letter he wrote home to my mom, who was a 1-year-old baby he truly didn’t want to leave behind.
The letter said this:
To Daddy’s Darling:
This is the first letter I have ever tryed to write you and I am afraid that when you are old enough to read and write yourself that you will think Daddy is very poor at writing, but someday you will understand that he loves you and Mommy better than anything else in the world.
It was not my idea to be away so much since you were born. It’s that someone with more power than you and I has said I must go. This I have done and I am trying to do a good job so I can come back to you and mommy before too long. Until I see you I want you to be a sweet little girl and do what you mother says. She is a good mommy and will only tell you what’s best for you. I know you will do all this. I only wanted to caution you.
From one who loves you very much,
And I’ll leave you with a little poem that will never make the cover of a greeting card, but means a whole lot to our family.
Happy Love Day. Go hug someone. (Not just anyone, though. You should at least know them. Otherwise, it will be awkward at best. At worst, they might punch you, which is the exact opposite of what you want on a day like this. There is no card for that…)