Friday, February 15, 2008

A Personal Valentine

I went to the store to buy a Valentine's Day card for the Good Witch. There were many to choose from, ranging from "funny" to "gushy" in content and from $3.69 to $4.99 in price. A few minutes later I left the store emptyhanded and returned home to sit in front of my laptop and open Microsoft Word. I just couldn't let someone else's words explain why she is the one I love.

With just a little fooling around with fonts, colors, and style I produced something that looked pretty nice and said what was in my heart. It fit easily on one page, and most of it is too personal to put in a blog. But here's one thought that came after a list of about ten reasons why she's my Valentine: "Just because you happen to be married to someone doesn’t necessarily mean that person is your Valentine. The person has to earn that honor."

Good Witch and I were married in August, 1966, and we've traveled many roads together since then - roads both smooth and bumpy. The bumpy times gave us opportunity to better understand ourselves and the other, and to focus in on what each of us found most important in a relationship. We found that those "core" characteristics - the inner drivers that define each of us - were what had attracted us to each other in the first place and continue to satisfy us. We also learned that the other's imperfections should be more than tolerated; they should be accepted with a smile, and compensated for with special efforts of our own. Consequently, we have built a love that is never in doubt.

I've never been a big fan of holidays, especially when they are highly commercialized. Valentine's Day has often seemed to me a most artificial holiday, a day when roses or candy might be hoped to atone for months of neglect. But this year, Valentine's Day prompted me to tell her in specific terms why my concept of "me" is incomplete without her. The funny thing is, the effort to describe this phenomenon probably did as much for me as it did for her. Her "good night kiss" was especially sweet.

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