- There’s nothing like a power outage to make a person appreciate electricity.
- Happiness is a phone call from a friend you haven’t talked to for a long time and feeling like you’ve never been apart.
- This Valentine’s Day, I’ll be thankful for the Man of Steel. We don’t have the overalls he wore when he proposed, though I still have my jumper. And we still have each other. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
What are you thankful for this week? Leave a comment.
Valentine’s Day will soon be here. I have a stack of cards ready. One for the Man of Steel, others for our kids and grandkids, and one for Mom. Whether or not any cards arrive for me, the people in my life have already said “I love you” to me and others in the following wonderful ways.
10. My sister and her husband invited us to spend a week in Phoenix with them during the dead of winter.
9. My kids announced plans for a 60th birthday party for the Man of Steel next month without prompting from me.
8. God provided a way through a process I’ve been trying to navigate for a couple years.
7. My sweet, shy one-year-old granddaughter smiled when we played peek-a-boo.
6. My brother mentioned how much help it is when I pick up library books for Mom and take her to appointments.
5. During a weekend with our daughter-in-law, the meals she prepared were all dairy-free.
4. When I told Mom I loved her, she said, “I know.”
3. A friend sent a Valentine ecard.
2. The Man of Steel slept in the guest room for a week so I wouldn’t catch influenza from him.
1. When it was time for Papoo and Grammy Jo to go home at the end of our last visit, our three-year-old grandson cried and said, “I don’t want you to go.”
How has someone said “I love you” to you this week? Leave a comment.
This week marks the beginning of a new Gravel Road feature called Fantastic Friday. Each Friday a fantastic blog post from the past will be given an encore airing. I hope you enjoy what you read as much as I enjoy thumbing through the archives and choosing them.
With Valentine’s Day almost here, this post about Mom’s Valentine wish (circa 2012) sprang to mind immediately. It truly is a favorite post because it shows the depth of Mom’s love for Dad, who died in 1997 after a 38 year battle with multiple sclerosis.
When Mom and I kept our standing lunch date last Tuesday, I mentioned that our next lunch would fall on Valentine’s Day. “That’s kind of fun, Mom. What would you like for Valentine’s Day?”
She thought for a few seconds. “Well, what I really want for Valentine’s Day I can’t have.” She fiddled with her coffee cup. “So I might as well not mention it.”
“Go ahead,” I encouraged her. “What do you really want?”
“What I really want is a few more years with your dad before his mind went…” She paused and moved her fingers in a circle at the side of her head. Her brow furrowed, and her blue eyes looked sad. “…you know, before he was…”
“I know,” I whispered.
“He wasn’t with me that way long enough,” Mom sighed.
I nodded, not knowing what to say. There are no words for Mom’s loss. Dad’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at age 29, less than 10 years after their marriage. The love of her life struck down by multiple sclerosis. The end of her dream of being the wife of a county extension agent and mother to an increasing brood of kids. The loss of the bread winner, the protector, and leader of the family she loved so much and taking on those roles for the next 38 years as Dad slowly failed and finally died at age 67.
Now, 15 years after his death, what does Mom want for Valentine’s Day?
Not a card.
She wants a few more years with her husband as he once was.
I looked at her, across the table, and said, “We can’t know what life would have been like if he hadn’t gotten sick. But I do know the life you gave us was a good one. You raised us well.”
She nodded and smiled. “I did a pretty good job, didn’t I?”
“You did,” I agreed and helped her into her coat and out the door.
Hiram’s off tomorrow, so we’re going down together to see Mom. We’ll take her to lunch at Culver’s, one of her favorite places to eat. Mainly because she loves their frozen turtle custard.
Over dessert, we’ll tease her like Dad did. We’ll talk about his love of ice cream, his silly jokes, his infectious grin, the goofy songs he loved to sing, the cribbage rules he invented as he played.
Compared to what Mom has lost, lunch at Culvers doesn’t seem like much. But perhaps, sharing memories of Dad and indulging in the laughter and dessert he loved will bring him to her in some small way. Perhaps, over frozen custard, we can give Mom a memory of what she’s wanted for Valentine’s Day for years.
If you would like to see a certain post on Fantastic Friday, leave a comment in the box below, and I’ll try to find it. Happy Friday and Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
Since this week began with a smokin’ episode of Downton Abbey and moved on to Valentine’s Day, it’s no wonder this Thursday’s three thoughts include love triangles. But as for the fixations with hot flashes and Pinterest, I have no idea of their origin.
- The minute Lavinia Swire walked into Downton Abbey, she was the doomed member of the love triangle. In our family, we call it the “Bonanza” principle. It’s named after the 1960s – 70s TV western series where beautiful, female guest stars always died. How about you? Did you see it coming?
- If a picture is worth 1000 words, is there any place on Pinterest for writers?
- If women in their 50s were in charge of utilities companies, they would already have invented heat pumps that could be attached to menopausal, hot flashing women, thus alleviating human suffering and solving the energy crisis in one, fell swoop.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment about your Thursday thoughts, even if they don’t include Valentine’s Day, Downton Abbey, Pinterest, and hot flashes.