Valentine’s Day

So here it is. Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate love and happiness.

It’s never been one of my favorite holidays.

When I was in high school, I was one of the kids who dressed all in black on Valentine’s Day, glaring at the giggly girls who walked down the hall carrying armloads of candy, Teddy bears, and balloons. They seemed so silly, so shallow and frivolous. It probably didn’t help that I never had a boyfriend in high school either. Once I grew up and got married, the holiday was a bit more tolerable. I had someone to buy me flowers and take me out to dinner. It was nice. But then something happened that forever damaged the day in my eyes.

My father died.

In the wee hours of February 13, 2001, my father passed away. He suffered a massive heart attack. It was quick. He had had no history of heart disease and, up until that moment, seemed perfectly healthy.

Needless to say, it has put a damper on Valentine’s Day for me. It’s hard to think about cute little candy hearts when all I can think about is how much I miss my dad. I always tell my husband not to get me anything, because I genuinely don’t want anything. I do always make sure to take flowers to my mom, because I know my dad would want me to. They are from him as much as from me.

This time of year usually brings on bouts of depression and anxiety, and this year is no exception. Some years are harder than others – this year is about medium. I always say that if I can survive from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, I’ll be okay. So I guess that’s what I’ll celebrate today. That, and the memory of a wonderful father and husband who left this world far too soon.

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