One of My Best Valentine's

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“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. ”  1 Corinthians 13:4-5
When one thinks of Valentine’s day, they think of love.  Typically the love shared between man and woman.  The dozen roses, the chocolates, the cards filled with poetry.  I am grateful God brought me someone to share the romantic side of Valentine’s Day, absolutely.  However one of my favorite Valentine’s Day has nothing to do with that kind of love.
I was single for over 40 years of my life.  I’ve had many more Valentine’s Day alone than sharing with someone special.  I used to dread it as the day approached.  I’d hear the platitudes, “It’s just a day Hallmark uses to sell cards.”  “Trust me honey, you’re better off alone than with someone who doesn’t treat you well.”  You get the gist.
Looking back though, I realize, I did have the perfect Valentine those years I was alone.  It was my Mom.
My Mom loved Valentine’s day.  She would always send cards to all of her kids.  She sent them to family and friends.  There were Valentine’s decorations around her house.  I was always guaranteed to get some type of Valentine’s present, usually some chocolates.  In later years, it was flowers.  I always took it for granted, as we tend to do.
Our last Valentine’s day together was four years ago.  It was her last lucid evening before she passed.  I’ll never forget it.  She was in her hospital bed in her bedroom at her home.  She was weak, had lost a lot of weight due to cancer.  She had just become bedridden a few days before.  My husband was with me, as well as some close friends.  I brought her a Bloomin’ Onion from Outback.  It was always one of her favorite foods.
I remember spending the evening around her bed with her.  Surrounded by people I love.  I didn’t know at the time it would be the last time I would have a conversation with her.  I had no idea in less than 36 hours she would be in the arms of Jesus.  I just knew I was with her.
I knew I was honoring her.  I knew she was exactly where she wanted be, doing exactly what she wanted to do.  When I think of my mother’s life, I always think of how she lived it.
She lived it the way she wanted too.  She did what she wanted to do.  When she made a mistake she accepted responsibility for it and moved on to the next thing.  She never let life get her down.  When Dad died leaving her with three teenagers, she kept going.  When I was less than a stellar daughter, she kept loving and praying me through it.  My brothers tested her too. She just kept going.  She held her head up high and kept going.
I’m grateful for her.  When she passed, she died the way she wanted too, at home, in her bed.  She is one of the few people I can honestly say, she lived the way she wanted to and died the way she wanted to.
There will never be another Valentine’s Day I don’t think of the last one I spent with her.  It was truly an evening of love.
 

2 Replies to “One of My Best Valentine's”

  1. Beautiful words Beth. Of course I cried thinking of my lovable aunt and how she lived her life. You are right, she did live her life the way she wanted and was very brave. I loved her so much all my life and always will. She is truly a very special part of my life and so much a part of my memories. Thank you for such a beautiful remembrance of such a beautiful lady. Happy Valentine’s day and love to you and Ron.

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