i didn't post yesterday because i wrote and re-wrote this post over and over in my head all day and couldn't put into words what i wanted to put into words ...

here i am today, still not sure how to do it, but i'm going to give it a try. sometimes once my fingers hit the keys, the words flow freely, as if my fingers are doing the talking.

february 14, 1992 ... do you remember what you were doing?

a friend of mine does ... she was having a baby! i remember that well! we got the call and i was so excited! i was excited because it was cool to share such a special day with my sweet friend and her beautiful new baby as it was also my wedding day to my best friend, rickey! february 14, 1992 was the day we had chosen to get married. the day our adventure began and the day that was the beginning of our happily ever after, our i'll love you until forever, the beginning of our story of taking this journey of life side by side, hand in hand. valentine's day, at the time seemed so romantic and so fun, and so practical! now rickey could never forget our anniversary, right? hallmark would make sure of that!

little did i know that our happily ever after, our i'll love you forever, our love story would come to a screeching halt less than 20 years later ...

not that the loving stopped. i loved him on february 14, 1992, i loved him on november 5, 2011 and i still love him today. death does not stop love, it just puts it into a new dimension. our story didn't "end" that day, as our beautiful children carry their daddy's legacy and he continues to shine the light of his love through him.

but ... the story of him & me, the story of rickey & sheila, the story of a "happily ever after" reached the point in our wedding vows that none of us like to consider, the "until death do us part" portion of those vows.

when you are 24 and starry eyed in love, that part of your vows seems like a long time in the future. a long, long, long time in the future. a let's have kids and grand kids and great grand kids time away. a we'll retire and travel together, and a let's get old and gray together time away. a "forever" time away.

so ... when that part of the story comes way sooner than you think it will, and your life becomes different than you ever thought it would, what then? what happens then?

when my "love story" as i knew it took a drastic turn on november 5, 2011 there was honestly only one thing i knew for certain, well actually two. rickey was safely at home in the arms of Jesus and God doesn't make mistakes. 

but ... where did that leave me? 

having spent nearly 20 years as rickey & sheila ... what now?

i was only 45, i wasn't buried in the cemetery next to rickey ... there must be more ... but what?

well, i shouldn't have been surprised to realize that in as much as God had been there on february 14, 1992 and on every day between then and november 5, 2011, He was also there on november 6, 2011 and every day that came after that!

to say that i have seen God's hand at work throughout my whole life seems like such an understatement, but it will have to suffice, because there aren't words big enough to accurately describe His presence and His peace and His love that He has lavished upon me!

one of the many blessings that He has lavished on me and one of the ways He has shown His love to me is in allowing me to be happy, truly happy again by giving me the opportunity to love again! the opportunity to have someone else to love and cherish and adore. someone to serve and submit to under God's authority ... a "new" someone to call husband!

i do not take this gift lightly, and each day, i realize more and more how truly blessed i am!

what i really wanted to share with this post though, was the amazing respect that i have seen my "new" love, rick show for the beautiful love that rickey & i shared by his response to february 14.

i have to be absolutely honest too, and say that i believe that this is the first year that i truly understood and respected and appreciated rick's reaction, and response to february 14.

the first year rick and i were married, i looked forward to valentine's day with anticipation {or should i say expectation?} ... would he get me flowers, or candy or some pretty, sparkly piece of jewelry? 

the answer to the above question was no. no, he didn't. he came home with flowers & stuffed animals for the girls, but not for me. i was a little baffled, a little hurt, but i tried to smile bravely and appreciate the love he was showing to the girls even though i wondered why i didn't receive anything.

in the years that followed, valentine's day was quiet. while friends were posting their dinners out and their flowers, or their chocolates or their sparkly pieces of new jewelry, i liked their posts, i commented how sweet their gifts were, all the while wondering how i could change rick and be the recipient of some of these things on this hallmark holiday that i placed so much value on.

at times, i forgot all of the little and big things that rick did for me on the other 364 days of the year as i either waited in anticipation of "this" day, or felt sorry for myself when my expectations of this "day" didn't come to pass. these hallmark holidays sure can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in a relationship, can't they?

little did i know, that rick was not ignoring this day. he didn't love me any less on february 14 than he did on february 13 or february 15! 

actually, he probably loved me MORE!

yes, more!

as our relationship grew, and we were able to talk through things without me getting irrationally emotional {i know, i'd never do that, right?} i slowly began to understand.

i began to understand that he loved me enough to keep february 14 low key. this was his way of honoring what "was". what rickey and i had. what i saw as his inability to meet my expectations on february 14, was actually his way of showing his utmost love and respect for me, for my previous marriage, for the life that i had shared with rickey. 

it may have taken me six years of spending valentine's day with this man for me to really "get" it, but now that i do, it only makes me love him more! this year, we had a quiet dinner at home. we ran to town and got culver's {a favorite treat} and came home and watched the olympics. no fireworks. no huge bouquets of flowers. no sparkly new jewelry or fancy dinners out. no huge boxes of heart shaped candy ... just quiet, soft spoken love. of mutual respect and understanding. of a wonderful man showing respect to another wonderful man and honoring a day for what it meant in the past.

my "valentine" from rick is a truly treasured gift. he loves me enough to keep one day of the year special, honoring a love that was and is no more.

in my mind, that is a gift to treasure and i love you for it rick, more than you will ever know!

thank you for loving me, and being patient with me until i finally "got it"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment to let me know you stopped by! ♥

So many changes ...

We like to tell people that we love Chattanooga so much we moved here twice! Since my last post in 2020, we spent eight months in Michigan...