by Betsy Love
It’s the day before Valentine’s day and I lost the card I was going to mail to my true love. I bought it weeks ago and put it away for safe keeping. My intention was to have my daughter leave it on her father’s pillow tomorrow morning. I’m sure he’s not expecting anything, especially with us living 160 miles apart. Living apart is what we have to do for four more months. But that’s a story for another time. Last year we had the same kind of a Valentine, but I had the kids with me while he commuted. Valentine’s Day came and went, and I cried and missed him terribly. This year I was going to be prepared. I would have the card ready and waiting. Yet when I went to sign it and leave it with my daughter, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I drove back to my place in Show Low after my busy weekend (I couldn’t even stop and get something for him because we never left each other’s sight the entire weekend. I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it until Monday afternoon. After my late afternoon doctor’s appointment, which just happened to be across the street from Walmart, I ran in and quickly picked out a card. I didn’t have time to linger over the selections, trying to find just the right sentiment, so I grabbed one on friendship. He is my best friend, by the way. It seemed to fit, and while it wasn’t mushy and gushy and overflowing with dripping adoration, it worked, because we are always thanking each other for being best friends. When I got to the checkout stand I realized I had left my stamps at work and needed to purchase those as well. I raced to the car, hoping I could beat the pick-up at the post office. Too late! By the time I reached the post office it was well past the last pick-up time. So I sat in the drive through, hoping no one would pull in behind me, to drop off a letter. I signed a hasty “I love you” and “Thanks for being my best friend” on the bottom of the card, scrawled the address on the envelope and plunked it in the box. It would be late. Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and the best I can do for tomorrow is an email and a phone call. His Valentine card would be late.
In spite of my poor lack of planning I love Valentine’s day. It makes me think back to another one, which is definitely the most memorable one in my life. It occurred twenty four years ago tomorrow with the birth of our third child. My doctor informed me on the Thursday before Valentine’s Day, that I wouldn’t last the night, let alone make it until Monday; he was sure I would go into labor by morning. I told him, that I was holding out for a Valentine’s baby. He laughed and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I was a week over due and had already been having mild contractions. Valentine’s was a long four days away. I was determined! I went about my business that day, cleaned house, worked on a quilt, and thought about how much I didn’t want a baby on the 13th. Sure enough on February 13th, Sunday morning I woke up with contractions and I thought, I’m not going to get my Valentine’s baby after all. But the contractions came and went all day long. By ten o’clock, they had petered out all together and I hoped, maybe the doctor would induce me the next day, and then I would have my Valentine’s baby for sure. The minute the clock struck 12:01 I started with heavier contractions than I’d had all day. Our little Valentine was born at 1:35AM. Isn’t it amazing how a girl with the last name of Love would meet and fall in love with a boy with the same last name and then have a baby on Valentine’s Day? That’s my “True Love Story”.