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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

TITLE: My Valentine Dilemma
By Tom Parsons


It happens every February 14. My Valentine’s Day dilemma.

You see, my best friend and I have been married for more than four decades. And I have given her every fancy, frilly heart and lace card Hallmark has ever conceived. I have given her enough cut flowers to open her own flower shop. Except that those cut flowers are all dead now. I have given her chocolates in heart shaped boxes, and enough candy to cause a diabetic to go into a coma. And stuffed animals. Lots of stuffed animals. Most of which the granchildren play with when they come to visit.

So, how do I come up with a fresh way to tell her that I love her and that I want her to be my Valentine all over again?

Maybe a cruise, you know, to the Caribbean. That would be nice since February is cold and sometimes snowy where we live. But then the news was filled with the story of a cruise gone rancid, and my girl says, “I don’t ever want to go on a cruise!” Well, I really didn’t want to spend that much money anyway.

Maybe clothes? Something she wouldn’t get for herself? Or jewelry? See, it’s complicated by two things. First, there are Christmas and our anniversary in December and her birthday in January, so when February arrives, the gift budget is flat, to borrow a word from a recent Writing Challenge challenge. And second, she prefers to pick out her own clothes and jewelry because she says I don’t get her things that match what she already has.

So, here it is, February 14 again, and I have nothing. Zilch. Natta. What do I do?

When I think about how we met (at college), our first date (I still remember the red checked tablecloth at the pizza restaurant), our wedding day (it snowed), our honeymoon (it snowed some more), and our first month of married life (it continued to snow), my heart fills up with gratefulness to God for bringing this woman into my life. What wonderful times we have had together. We have had the privilege of traveling to 35 states and one Canadian province. We have shared various Christian ministries together. We brought three beautiful little girls into the world together, and raised them together and now delight in the fact that all three of them are serving the Lord with their husbands, and that together they have given us eleven beautiful grandchildren, some of whom enjoy playing with those stuffed animals I gave my wife on previous Valentine’s Days.

So, here’s what I’m going to do. I am going to go to the store and see if there is one very nice hearts and flowers Hallmark card (or another brand, I really don’t care) still left. I will buy it, and give it to her at supper tonight. That’s it. Just the card. No flowers. No candy. No clothing or jewelry that doesn’t match. Not very original, I suppose.

But then inside the card, I will put a little note. It will say something like this: “I remember a pretty, young girl on a college campus. I remember a red checkered table cloth in a pizza restaurant. I remember a snowy day followed by another snowy day followed by a string of snowy days. I remember three little girls who kept us running and laughing. I remember places we have gone and things we have done together. I remember the good life God has given us. And I remember what the Lord said in Proverbs – ‘he who finds a wife finds a good thing.’ Thank you for being my good thing.”

OK. Good. Problem solved. But then, what do I do next February?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Cheryl Harrison02/19/13
So sweet! I enjoyed your story.

My husband and I have been together so long that we don't buy cards anymore. Instead, we go to card aisle in the store and pick out cards. Then we say, "If I were gonna buy a card for you, I would buy this one." It's so much fun! People think we are nuts.

Just a thought for next year.... :o).
Beth LaBuff 02/21/13
Congrats on over 40 years with your wonderful wife. I'm sure she loved that message. Your dilemma for what to do next year made me smile. Congrats on your Highly Commended award.
C D Swanson 02/21/13
Congrats! God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/21/13
Congratulations on your HC and for ranking 18 overall!