Saturday, February 13, 2010
On Valentine's Day I think of Ralph and grieve that he isn't here to share the day that celebrates love and lovers. I am alone and yet I have memories to cherish.
Our first date was on Valentine's weekend, and Ralph arrived bearing a card...with my name misspelled: Thema. He would never have made it past round one in a spelling bee and for many years he called Gayle, our office manager, to check on spellings of words he was using in proposals.
Somewhere near the end of our time together, he totally forgot about Valentine's Day. I had placed a Valentine on his plate at breakfast, and he didn't have one for me. I glared at him. After breakfast he disappeared. A few minutes later he returned and handed me a Valentine he'd rushed to the drug store and bought. "Doesn't count," I told him. He never forgot again.
On our final Valentine's Day together, he gave me a card with the quotation above from First Corinthians. I framed it and keep it on my desk to remember that love doesn't vanish with the physical body. It remains, endures, comforts.
To all of you who are spending this Valentine's Day alone, my wish that you celebrate by remembering the love you shared, the love that will never disappear.