Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Valentine Story

He made her a fresh pot of coffee. He headed out the door at seven a.m. most every day to buy her favorite jelly doughnut. He took her for car rides to a favorite spot; a small creek that ran under a stone bridge where they would sit like young lovers as if parking all over again.

He watched the same movies over and over because she didn't remember that they just saw them. He listened to her countless stories--ones that he'd heard hundreds of times through the years. And he looked at her with true love--the kind of expression I've never seen since on any man's face.

Yes, my father's love for Mom was noteworthy. So much, that it will stand the test of time. He's no longer here, but his love lives on in photos, cards and hastily written romantic letters which spill out of an old basket in my mother's kitchen.

The photos are worn, but the sentiment is there: true love, undying love, faithful love. My father took his marriage vows seriously with love and honor. Sticking by in sickness and bad times. 

I could see it wasn't easy in his final days at the hospital last fall. At first, Dad hadn't wanted us to bring Mom around--once again fearing for her and trying to protect her with his literal last breaths. But we knew where she belonged--right at his side. And so we trekked daily to the hospital, placing her in a wheelchair and wheeling her to be with the man she adored. He smiled when he was able, held her hand at other times. The kiss I saw my mother give Dad before they wheeled him into surgery was long and lingering. No young passionate lovers have ever seemed as enamored of one another as my parents did even into their eighties.

Someday I hope to write a book centered around the words my father used to pen his beautiful notes to Mom. For she blushes and acts like a schoolgirl while reading them to us. And we listen, me, my brother and son, as she shares the words that will live on long after they are both gone.

That, my friends, is a true Valentine story.

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