One More Valentine

by Andy Wood on February 15, 2010

in Five LV Laws, Life Currency, Love, LV Stories, Photos, Principle of Legacy, Words

The house was profoundly quieter now.  The funeral service was a sweet combination of faith-filled worship and fitting tribute.  The dozens of family members, cousin-strangers, and delightfully helpful friends and neighbors have retreated back to dock with “normal.”  All that remained this evening were my dad, my sister and me. 

After thank-you notes, food rearrangement, guest dish collecting and sorting, and a pause for supper, my dad decided to start the process of going through stuff.  Her stuff.  While my sister began looking through and sorting out her desk, he emptied her purse.  Inside was what I suppose is a typical example of a 71-year-old woman’s typical daily haul.  A wallet with all the ID cards, insurance and AAA whatevers, and credit cards.  A wad of keys.  Pills – lots of pills.  Fingernail and lip stuff.  A comb.

And a receipt.

“Hey,” Daddy said, looking over the receipt.  “You know what?  I’ll bet she bought me a Valentine card.”

That’s sure what it looked like.  A loose receipt in Mama’s purse revealed the purchase of a greeting card sometime early last week or the week before.  But where was it hiding?

We started looking everywhere.  The desk.  Files.  Closets.  I asked about the car.  Alas, no card.

“I sure wish I could find that card,” Daddy kept saying.

Finally, my sister found it in what should have been an obvious place, just above the workspace on her desk.  And sure enough, he was right.  She had bought him a card that was just waiting for her signature.  And here is what it says:

I’m Grateful for the Wonderful Husband You Are

Thank you for the marriage that I’ve cherished from the start

We’ve built a life together that I love with all my heart.

Thanks for the encouragement that helps me do my best –

Just knowing you believe in me means more than you’d have guessed.

Thank you for your friendship – you’re a very special man –

You lighten all our problems and add joy to all we plan.

Thanks for all the happiness you’ve brought me as your wife,

And thank you so for all your love – the best part of my life!

My mother, with no clue that this would be her last valentine, had already purchased the card that would speak long after she was unable to.  And in doing so, even in the simplest of ways, after 52 and a half years she found another way to invest in my dad’s life, and her legacy. 

One of the most intriguing descriptions of anybody in the Bible says that Abel, though he is dead, still speaks (Hebrews 11:4).

Yesterday – on Valentine’s Day – my dad discovered that his wife does, too.

So can I.

So can you.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Chaffin February 15, 2010 at 5:00 am

As you are both grieving the loss of your mother and also celebrating her arrival in heaven, I continue to pray for God to grant you extraordinary peace, strength and comfort, and for Him to demonstrate His love and grace in your life in an overwhelming way.

Sandra Myers February 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Mr. Andy ..As I sit reading your entry about the Valentine my Heart gets so very full! Mrs.Joann I have to say is the most Wonderful,Loving, Lady I have ever met! She would met me at the door with the beautiful smile and a “Come on in”! Heaven I KNOW is Beautiful…but now it’s really Beautiful with that Smile there also! You and Your Family are in my prayers. Were gonna take care of Mr. Jim, we love him dearly ! I love your webpage…there again thanks to Mrs. Joann,, she knew I needed to be reading here, GOD BLESS. SANDRA

Renee September 25, 2010 at 8:27 am

Amen, what a beautiful eulogy. What a beautiful relationship this couple must have had. It encourages me to strive to live that kind of life that, when this life is over, great memories will be left. Renee

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