I never knew how I felt about Valentines Day, let’s just say I was fickle on the topic. Robin thought it was a Hallmark holiday and I agreed in a sense, however I did love getting flowers, my favorite candy and usually a sweet card that was probably picked up last minute at Walgreens. I always knew when he waited too long because it contained a mushy poem that he would never have bought if he had options. It never bothered me because I always liked an underdog and was happy to receive the rejected card that was left behind … lonely on the shelf with the other picked over cards and extra envelopes. Robin was not the greatest planner but he always got it done at the end of the day!
We had a little tradition which involved bringing in dinner and ok I will admit it, indulgent desserts (probably not good to admit since my husband died of a heart related disease) 😦 Every year, I would make Robin a handmade card with funny stick figure drawings of him doing various unpleasant task. As I write this now, it does sound kind of pathetic and a bit lame … but it was our thing and we loved it. I would create several scenarios of him doing stuff such as picking up dog poop, vacuuming water out of the spare room when we had a leak (he was so pissed) etc.. Robin would open the card, study it for a few minutes and then start to laugh. On a side note, when I cleared out his office after he passed away, those were all kept together 🙂 It was hokey but it was our ritual and the way we enjoyed Valentine’s Day together.
Just recently, I have joined several Facebook widow groups to do research on a business idea and also be part of a community of people coping with the same problems as me. As you can imagine, the Facebook feed was on fire with pure dread as Valentines Day approached. I read through the comments and decided I was not going to be made artificially sad for a day that was really not the biggest deal to me. I think if I cried about this holiday, Robin would come down from heaven and bonk me on the head – ha ha. Therefore I refused to be sucked into the negativity and dressed up in my pink sweater and chose to embrace love.
My friend Gilma and I found ourselves without plans and agreed to go out last minute and have drinks and appetizers. We sipped our dirty martinis and cosmos and snacked on yummy hummus and pita. I looked around the bar and there were several couples together enjoying themselves and you know what….. I was happy for them.
Gilma and I met at work and have become very good friends over the last few years. Our friendship blossomed through various business trips and trying to attract and develop talent for our company. We were compatible travel buddies and tried to make the most of any circumstances thrown our way or laugh things off when we found ourselves stranded in random airports. We enjoyed exploring new places and she introduced me to a new level of shopping – so much fun as I learned about Gucci, Bottega, Hermes and duty free indulgences. Putting all jokes aside, I do believe there is a master plan on when and why people come into our lives and she is definitely one of those gals that I lean on and has made me a better person. Gilma always knows how to casually check in on me and offer up the quick lunch, drink or movie to keep me from going off the deep end. So I was very appreciative when she offered up spontaneous plans which I know were not at all spontaneous for her.
Back to Valentines Day, while Gilma and I were stuffing our faces with yummy appetizers, she said the sweetest thing which I hope she does not mind me sharing with my intimate group of blog readers. She expressed how amazed she was with the amount of close friends and deep relationship I had developed over the years. It had caught me off guard as I had never really thought about it before, but you know what … she was right!!! I had been so focused on my loss that I had not considered how lucky I have been having the strong support of true friends.
So to wrap things up, it was a good Valentines Day. Although I did not have Robin with me to exchange cards and eat chocolate covered strawberries, I was feeling the love. I still sense his spirit with me – like a warm hug or a tingle of confidence. I can’t explain it, but he is with me!!! Yet, the biggest revelation for me was that I do have a large posse who are carrying me through this unpleasant journey. It is said that whatever energy you put out in the world .. comes back to you. I have been trying really hard to put good vibes out into the universe and I think it is coming back my way. This could have been a really bad day and it actually turned into a good one. It’s nice to actually feel content and at peace for this rare moment and I want to soak it in … om… deep breadths !! Now it’s time to worry about President’s Day – just kidding – I think I will be fine.