I am a big ball of emotions going into Valentine’s Day. There are a ton of things on my mind and I am not quite sure if I am going to break down or triumph through it. I guess only time can tell.
My anxiety over the holiday range in reason but I want to break them down.
The one year anniversary of last year:
This may be the biggest burden weighing on my soul. Last Valentine’s Day might be the most special day in my entire life. While I know the birth of my son ranks pretty high, if I consider the multitude of things that occurred that day, I think it takes the cake.
Andrew proposed to me last Valentine’s Day. It was adorably romantic. So that in itself is a pretty memorable occasion. Without sharing all the details, it started my day off beautifully.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Andrew and I decided to take my parents out to dinner. Valentine’s Day is also my parents wedding anniversary. My dad always called it their Valaversary. So we wanted to celebrate together. While every free second I get these days I rush to my mom’s house to be with my family, just one year a go, that was not necessarily the case. Since I lived about an hour away, I didn’t make too many trips over the mountain to see them. Something I regret every day now. But nonetheless, the dinner was going to be special. A treat for my parents to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary, a celebration for the engagement, and just time with my parents that I did not normally get.
We took my parents to Fat Buddies in Waynesville. My mom wanted a steak, and that is where she wanted to go. The reason why that night is so special to me now, is because that was the last moment I spent with my dad before he got sick. He was sick then, there were signs that I now can recognize, but we had no idea that while we were all sitting there laughing and having a perfect night, cancer was consuming my dad’s body and would inevitably take his life in just a few short weeks. That night, one year ago on Friday, was the last time I really talked to me dad. The last time I got to hug him. The last time I saw him looking any shape of normal.
He looked sick. My dad, he was a pretty big guy, had lost a devastating amount of weight. He had even bragged about how handsome and skinny he looked. We didn’t know why at the time. We assumed it was because on of his dieting binges. Sporting his favorite Carharts we had just gotten him for Christmas, I remember him being so happy. He didn’t feel good. It was obvious in the 30 minute wait we had for our table. He looked tired. But he was still happy, and was showering my mom with love.
Dinner was nice. I think it is the only time in my adult life that I have ever had dinner out with my parents. It was not something we normally did. It was a first, and I had no idea it would be a last too. Dad played with his steak, but couldn’t finish it. He complained of stomach aches. But we finished the rest of the night, finished dinner, and I gave my mom and dad hugs and sent them on their way, for the last time.
The next day dad called me. He wanted to let me know that although he had been throwing up blood the night before, he had been feeling better that day for lunch and was able to eat his steak. He called just to tell me how good it was and how much he enjoyed it. That is when his doctor visits started. When he started begging for care. I have already told that story.
Anyway. So Valentine’s Day will forever be special to me because it was the day that Andrew promised me forever. It was the last day I had with my dad, and it was truly a great day.
Turner’s first Valentines Day:
So more emotion I have for this holiday is it being another one of Turner’s firsts. I record and keep track of it all, and tomorrow will be another day I get to spend celebrating an experience with my beautiful, amazing, son.
We get Turner holiday onesies anytime we can, and this month’s is one of my favorites. I will share pictures on Monday.
Spending time with my family:
I know this time is really hard for my mom. Her best friend and the man who has been her partner in life for more than half of her life will no longer be there. He won’t be there to write her a love note, like he did every single day. She won’t get flowers from him. She won’t here him wish her a “Happy Valaversary” first thing in the morning.
My dad always made Valentine’s Day special for all of us. Every single year he would drop a single rose off for me and my sisters at school. Every single year. What I would give to have kept one of those roses.
I didn’t want my mom to be stuck in the house sad about all that is this holiday. So I planned a trip to a waterpark for my entire family. I wanted mom to have new memories to make with her grandchildren. To have something else to focus on so she wouldn’t be sad. I just hope this snow melts so we can get there. It is not looking so great right now. And if things don’t work out, I will just be devastated.
it is also important to me that I make it to my dad’s grave tomorrow. I need to be able to give him a single rose. To wish him a Happy Valaversary. I know it sounds so silly, but I feel like if I don’t go there to see him, he will think we have forgotten about him. I am terrified of that. So whatever the holiday, I do see him. I want to spend a little piece of it with him. I have to. I need to.
If you can take anything away from this, I ask you, I bed you, to make a memory tomorrow. Because I cannot stress enough that while you may not realize it now, that memory may be the only thing you have to hold onto for the rest of your life. Make it a good one.