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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pamela Davis

My Funny Valentine

This Valentine's Day, I thought of a memory from my high school days.

On Valentine's Day (or the school day closest to it), local floral shows and individuals would make deliveries to my school to drop off gifts for their valentine. Flowers, balloons, bears, and candy would overtake the main office area of the school. Our office are was a long, rectangular space made up of large glass windows. The windows were three-quarters of the width of the wall. So when all the deliveries arrive, you could clearly see the sea of red gifts on display. As the school day went by, we anxiously awaited the moment when the school secretary, Mrs. Conrad would come over the intercom to say, "We will now begin calling you to the office to pick up your Valentine's gift." Even though I attended a small K-12 school, it had to be more than a hundred names that were called. In those days, I didn't have a boyfriend, but there was still this anxiety that came over me as I listened to the names. Teachers would try to keep the lesson going, but each time a student's name was called that had to leave our classroom, it presented a disruption. We couldn't wait for them to get back to the classroom to see what they had gotten and who it was from.

I was sharing this memory with my husband on the day before Valentine's Day 2020 about how good it felt not to have to wonder about his love for me. The two of us met in March of 2006. As a part of our getting to know each other, he made it clear that he was not a big fan Valentine's Day. Rather, he believed in showing and proving his love to me all year long; simply put, each day is Valentine's Day. Little did I know the stress relief this would provide to me. Removing the pre-mature anticipation and anxiety that comes with hoping and waiting for a gift from someone you love (and that loves you too). He showers me with unexpected gifts of love all throughout the year.

When my husband and I met, we lived in different cities, about two hours away from each other. As a part of our pre-marriage counseling, we met with one of the pastors at my church. Fifteen years later, I still hear the words of wisdom he shared with us. One of the many things that stands out for me are these words: "spend each day letting each other know how much you love them." "Go out of your way to let the other know how much you love them." Although I remember the words, my husband is far more thoughtful and actionable with reminding me how much he loves me.

After my divorce and prior to my current marriage, I spent a great deal of time thinking about my ideal relationship. I was observing an older married couple at a gas station one day. The husband was pumping the gas and the wife exited the car and headed into the gas station. As she walked away from her car, she looked over her shoulder to ask her husband if he wanted anything. He answered yes, but she kept walking toward the gas station. I didn't understand it then, but I love that my husband and I know each other. That just like that older couple, I can walk into a gas station or order from a menu something to his liking.

Love isn't just about the superficial things. It's about the inner beauty. The heart and core of who a person is, drives depth of love and how that love will grow. Love is about accepting the other person and loving unconditionally. Back in high school, I was waiting for flowers from someone who I was drawn to based on what was on the surface. The love I have now is much more than that. With openness and a willingness to love, trust, and forgive, our love has withstood the many challenges that life brings.

I'm so thankful I get to love and be loved by my funny Valentine.

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