Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day

I am trying to think of the last Valentine's Day gift I gave to my bride (of 33 years). I give up. Actually, I don't give up. There never was one.

I have always believed in the philosophy that each day is important, none more so. I can screw up equally well on Valentine's Day, my birthday, your birthday or the day that Egypt declared it's independence from 30 years of oppressive rule. Life doesn't let you take days off from marriage, at least if you expect your marriage to survive.

The best Valentine's Day gift I could give my wife is a pledge to be more helpful to her. Most of the daily burdens have fallen directly in her path. If there were a day where I did all the cooking, cleaning, washing, scrubbing, fixing, watering, packing, carrying, making and unmaking, while she did what I do (virtually nothing, while suggesting that the little I accomplish is a great feat) then I truly believe that such a day would be one that my wife would treasure more than any other.

While material benefits handed from one to another with much pomp and circumstance may have meaning in the moment, the moment passes. Then you are again forced to face the reality of whatever your reality may be.

My mom has been on the decline for several years. Among the many changes has been her inability to filter many of her negative thoughts. My bride has fallen directly in the path of many, not so subtle, comments that make me cringe. Yet, Jo has been just as dedicated as ever to making sure that we spend time with my mom, go out to meals with her, invite her over to our house, and do what we can, as opposed to merely what I can, to help make my mom's days as pleasant as possible. That, for me, is a daily Valentine's Day present.

Life, as we all know, can be tough. Marriage, for all of us married more than 15 minutes, can be uneven. But the important thing is in the trying. If your spouse is pulling for you, trying to help you up the ladder, or at least helping you hold on, then you won't need Valentine's Day to make your marriage a success. If that is not the case, then no amount of flowers, candy, or baubles, will be able to hide the truth.



Dear Robert,
You haven't posted very much in the last few weeks and I have missed you. But you returned today with one of the best you have ever written [and there have been some good ones!]
Thank you

Anonymous said...

you have become the great philosopher. enjoy reading your blob
happy valentine's day, old friend.


Robert said...

First, I wonder if Frank's reference to the "blob" was not a Freudian slip.

I much appreciate Harryette's kind words. The "blob" I think is hit and miss. Sometimes it resonates with a few and not others. I just keep on trying.

Nancy Leeds said...

I agree with you about the gift thingy, (although I'm hoping Harvey doesn't read this, cause I do love my presents), but an evening out on a corny holiday with good friends has its charm, don't you think?

Robert said...

the "gift thingy"?

good night with good friends is always good enough