Valentines Day is a day that I’ve never really paid much attention to. The origin of Valentine’s Day was actually quite meaningful which I wasn’t aware of until I looked it up out of pure curiosity.
However, Valentine’s day has become a commercial celebration with overpriced roses, increased pressure on couples to make the day perfect, and usually, a heightened desire to “show love” to one another since many (not all) don’t seem to take the time to do that every other day.
I am not bitter.
I have nothing against celebrating Valentines Day. What I do want to encourage though is treating every day like Valentine’s day; minus the gifts of course.
Valentines Day as a widow
Nick and I didn’t go all out on Valentine’s Day, in fact, we usually just cashed in our air miles for coupons, and made it our goal to get as much free food as we possibly could.
On our last Valentine’s Day, we fought. I shared this in a past blog, and I am not ashamed to share it again. Our last Valentines Day was not perfect. We did not buy each other the perfect gifts (we didn’t buy each other anything), and we did not show each other how much we loved one another. We had an amazing morning with our officiant talking about finances and parenting plans, and in the evening we got into a useless, ridiculous fight about money. I am still not entirely sure why, to be honest.
The reason I share this is that our last Valentine’s Day was six days before Nick died.
The next morning Nick and I woke up and kissed each other goodbye as I went to work and Nick stayed in bed. I was still pissed off at him, and I am sure the feeling was mutual. By the time I was off work, it was as if our fight the night before didn’t even happen. I can say with certainty this was the beginning of our final week together and those of you who were blessed to see Nick that week know first hand how amazing it was.
As you celebrate Valentines Day, try to remember that it’s only one day which has been made into something that is more commercial than real. If your special someone doesn’t buy you anything or doesn’t do something “romantic” just try not to be upset. There is way too much pressure to be perfect. Gifts, fancy restaurants and engagements do not define love.
At the end of the day, if you have a special someone, and they are alive; you should feel so blessed.
I know a lot of people who would give anything to just have a dream about their special someone today, let alone spend a simple night at home with them.
For me, Valentines will always mark the first day of my last week with Nick. Only someone who has suffered this kind of loss can truly understand that. The final week will always play like a film sequence in my head. I remember every single day of that final week. I have gone through our final text messages a million times to make sure that there was no way Nick died without knowing how much I loved him.
I am so grateful for that week because it was so perfect. Perfect in that it was simple, meaningful, and memorable.
Today I have a new special someone. It doesn’t mean I don’t think about Nick and quite frankly I don’t think our relationship would be the same if I didn’t or if we never spoke about him. We talk about Nick’s hopes and dreams often, and it helps us to be reminded about how important it is to do what makes us happy NOW; not later.
We know that had it not been for Nick’s death, we would not be together. We know that a life had to be taken for our life together to be born. We know that though it makes others uncomfortable to think about our relationship involving Nick, we know that Nick is a part of it whether we like it or not and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
He is our reminder that this life is short and love must be shown every day, not just Valentines Day. Nick’s death reminds us that our relationship was a gift from the universe that needs to be cherished and nurtured every single day and for that we can not take this for granted.
Our relationship is not perfect nor would I want it to be. We have complexity like no other and every day is an adventure. We will have rough patches but we will get through them.
The photo attached to this blog is a perfect image to describe our love and our acceptance of how unusually imperfect our relationship is. The day this photo was taken Scott gave me a special photo shoot for my birthday. I had a crystal ball of Nick’s ashes made, and since Nick and I shared our birthday, Scott thought a photo shoot would be a great way to celebrate.
We decided we should take some pics together and this shot was taken at the exact moment we realized we were taking kissing shots with Nick’s crystal ball still sitting directly in front of us. Scott grabbed that ball and shoved it back into his pocket while saying, in a perfect Bernie Mac voice, “get back in my pocket boy.”
It was hilarious, and my favorite thing about this photo is that we are both looking up at the sky, remembering how lucky we are. We were happy, comfortable, and in love in the most unconditional and imperfect sort of way.
Don’t take your special someone for granted today.
Love without judgment and expectations
And Love like it’s your last day together because had I known Nick was going to die six days after our last Valentines Day, I probably wouldn’t have cared so much about whatever the hell it was we were fighting about.
For all of you missing your special someone today, I see you. Valentines Day can be an obnoxious reminder of your loss and the loneliness that comes with it. Be gentle with yourself and remember that no matter the day; YOU are a warrior.