It Wasn’t Funny Then

Tim and Ellen 20th Anniversary 1993Every Valentine’s Day I cry. Because I miss him. I miss the flowers, the candy, and the killer jewelry.

I also laugh. Because I remember the year of my knee surgery. How I was all alone in our big house on four acres. How I stepped out on our balcony to grill a steak for lunch. How the door locked behind me, leaving me stranded in 40-degree weather.

Had I not been on crutches, I’d have shimmied down to the ground. Had I been smart, I’d have worn more than my pj’s and slippers. Had my frustration not gotten the best of me, I would not have hurled that steak across the yard.

Left with just a fork, I did my best to jimmy the lock. I prayed the UPS truck would pull up our gravel driveway. I swore I’d scream forcing him to walk to the back of our house. I figured any shame would be worth getting back inside.

But nothing worked. So for the next five hours I huddled in the corner and tried to stay warm.

The image is frozen in my mind. Through the French door, I see Tim enter the living room carrying a box of roses. His brows furrow. He cocks his head struggling to grasp why I’m on the balcony in a flood of tears. Why I’m jumping up and down. He opens the door and wood chips from where my fork did its damage, flow down.

It’s all funny now. But it wasn’t then. Just like so many events of our 38 year marriage. What seemed like a tragedy was really not that big of a deal. So much stuff that just wasn’t worth the trouble.DSC02134.JPG

So today, I challenge you to give your Valentine a big ole hug. And make a new vow to see the humor in your story. To not dwell on the little things. And to save your energy for what really matters.

I can promise you, what you’re sweating over today, may just be what you laugh at tomorrow. So why not start the party early.

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