I was thinking about Valentine’s Day a little this week. How could I not with all the stores decked out in red and pink and all the flower and chocolate commercials on TV? I was thinking in particular about some of my Valentine’s Day memories. As a child, Valentine’s Day was that time of year when we exchanged valentines, made heart-shaped crafts at school, had a party, and ate lots of candy. Although there was that one year when I was elected “Princess” of my 4th grade class… but I won’t go there. Then in high school, you knew it was Valentine’s Day when one of the school clubs was selling carnations that would be specially delivered to each recipient during a certain period of the day on Valentine’s Day (or, if Valentine’s Day was on a weekend, a designated day of the week). If I remember correctly, there were three color choices with meanings attached: white = friendship, pink = like, and red = love… or something like that. This event led to many “secret crushes” being revealed, and, unfortunately, some broken hearts. Thankfully, for me this day only resulted in a couple of awkward moments with some not-so “anonymous” flower-senders… but, I won’t go there either.
I have two very, fond and vivid Valentine’s Day memories that I’ll share because they are so close to my heart (no pun intended).
The first story was from when I was about 8 years old (I think). My dad, being the romantic that he is and having three daughters (as my brother was not yet born), arranged for an evening with all his girls in which we were showered with his love and appreciation for us. All that we were told was to dress up and be ready to go out the door by a certain time. My dad was not at home, so my mom, sisters, and I were left wondering what was going on, but were ready nonetheless. At the prescribed time we were ready to go, jackets on and all (not sure where were to go or how we were to get there) when a limousine pulled into the snow-packed driveway of our parsonage home. Although all of us were stunned, I believe us girls were excitedly heading out the door (no doubt talking a mile-a-minute) while my mom tried to pick her jaw up off the floor, still in shock.
|This picture was taken at the end of our very special Valentine's Day with Dad. (Please no laughing... It was the 90s!)|
It was an exciting evening of feeling loved and grown-up. The limo ride back was also fun. We used the phone inside to call my grandparents while we were riding! It’s amazing to think how far technology has come since then. That was such a treat to take turns telling our grandparents where we were and what we had done that night. It was definitely a moment I have never forgotten, and stuck with me as I pursued my own romantic interest later in life.
Flash forward approximately 11 years. Andy and I were in our first year of college and had been dating for about four months. It was Friday, February 14th (our first Valentine’s Day together) and we were driving north to spend a long weekend with my family. We decided to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day together by making a stop along the way at a nice restaurant for dinner. There are lots of other details that I could include regarding a speeding ticket (not saying who, but I will say that I’ve got a perfect driving record), running into a friend in an unexpected place, and not going to my parent’s house until hours after we were in the area, but those aren’t really necessary. The bottom line is that this Valentine’s Day was most memorable because it was the day that Andy first told me that he loves me – and I told him I loved him, too! For both of us, those words weren’t something to be thrown around. We wanted to be sure we both truly meant it before saying it. It was an important part of our relationship and one that I will never forget.
|This isn't from our first Valentine's Day, but shortly before. Wow, we were so young!|
~ Carrie ~