Tradition. Every year after all of Valentine’s is over I cry. Weird, right? It get’s weirder. It’s because I miss my dad. On Valentine’s Day. Doesn’t make much sense, but keep with me.
All growing up Dad would be the one who would buy us a card and a bag of candy for Valentine’s day. He’d also buy my mom something thoughtful, I’m sure (I’m not really sure, I only know of a few stellar years- he might have been a total touche (I meant the ‘t’ there) but because he’s dead, he obviously did no wrong in his entire life). He’d leave it on the table, and, most of the time, head out for work. Even when he went in for surgery for the cancer the first time around, he made sure that there was stuff ready for Valentine’s Day- not knowing whether he’d be there or not.
I miss him a lot right now. I want to know what he’d say to me about my kids. I wonder what kind of encouragement he’d give when things get really hard on me. I need his encouragement. I know he knows Abby and I have a feeling that he had his hand in her coming to our family. I just wish I could hear it from him.
I have a letter he wrote to me while I was at Girls Camp the year before he died. My favorite part says, “Have you made any friends? Did you go on a hike? Did you find the fairy caves? I cant wait for you to tell me all about it!” and at the end it says, “I think a lot about you, Lex, and I hope you’re doing fine. It’s just not the same around here without you.” I wonder if he thought it was just a letter that I’d eventually lose. If he had any idea that it would start to turn yellow and tear at the creases. That I’d run my fingers over the letters he wrote because it’s where his hand had actually touched. Or that I’d find so much meaning in his words.
Valentine’s WAS great this year though. Casey asked me if I’d be his Valentine. He had spent a couple of hours that day (after tricking me into playing hooky from school) coloring pictures. Then he brought me these: