Last week was my birthday and today is Valentine's Day. Those two days underscore something about my present situation. When you are married you always have someone to do things with. In our family we rarely get the whole family together on the day of one's birthday (except for the grandkids) because of schedule challenges. We usually find a date in the proximity of actual date to celebrate as a family. That was true this year as well. My birthday was on Wednesday, which is a afternoon/evening that Julie Ann is teaching and also a night when Joel's family is going in 6 different directions. So I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday night with the Vinger's family and will celebrate this week with Joel's family. Not an unusual scenario in our family.
What was different this year is that I didn't have Jan with me to do something on the actual day of the birthday. It is one of the realities of my life at present that I don't have my wife to do things with and celebrate special occasions. My family and friends are taking good care of me, but they simply cannot plug all the holes.
Today is one of those days. In recent years we have been in Mexico on Valentine's Day and celebrated down there. However, this year I am not leaving for Mexico until Monday of next week and I have encouraged my kids to continue doing what has developed as their own family traditions. So today I will lunch with Sid Veenstra and dinner with John Petersen (his wife is in Florida while he is working here this week). Two very good friends and I will enjoy my time with them...but...neither of them are the person I want to be with.
I just opened my mail and read a Valentine's Day card from Jack and Nancy Virden. It was beautiful in it's simplicity: God Is Love I John 4:8 "Celebrating God's great love with you." Happy Valentine's Day. I was glad to receive that today.
So in part my day will be filled with remembering:
- God's constant and faithful love in my life over these last 71 years.
- The love I shared with Jan for 47 years.
- I will enjoy reflecting on wonderful memories.
- I wonder just how many times we said "I love you" to each other.
- We tried to say it every day at least once.
So I say Happy Valentine's Day to you once again! Hold tightly to that person to whom you say "I love you." Treasure each moment you have together. You never fully realize just how important those moments are until she or he is gone and they will never happen again. Make memories today and will be worth remembering some day in the future. God bless!