February 22, 2013 in Random Thoughts
Valentine’s Day has always been a mixed bag for me.
On the one hand, it’s a holiday primarily involving candy, so what’s not to love? As a child, I delighted in passing out valentines to my classmates, sucking on cherry-flavored heart-shaped lollipops, and eating the little conversation hearts with sweet messages like “Be Mine.” (Today’s conversation hearts that say things like “Text Me” are just not the same.)
My parents would give my sister and I small heart shaped boxes of chocolates. I remember feeling like a grownup when I’d get mine: a box full of decadent chocolates just for me? Wow!
When I got older, I realized that Valentine’s Day was not just about candy. There was some kind of love component involved. I’d watch alone while my friends with boyfriends received flowers, candy, and cuddly teddy bears and I’d think “Wow! When you don’t have a boyfriend, this holiday kind of…sucks.” (Although there was still plenty of candy at my disposal to drown my sorrows in.)
From now on, though, Valentine’s Day is going to carry an entirely different meaning for me: it will be a day of remembrance.
My dad passed away on Valentine’s Day, just a week ago.
I already know how I’m going to celebrate Valentine’s Day going forward. For breakfast, we’ll have grapefruit juice and cinnamon rolls, in memory of my dad’s favorite juice and one of the last foods he could still keep down and enjoy towards the end.
Sometime during the day I’ll drink a Diet Coke, to which my dad had a minor addiction. I won’t even have to go to the store to get one, for we still have a pantry full of his secret stash from the last time he came to visit.
For dessert, mint chocolate ice cream will be served. Every time he’d visit, my dad take a jaunt down to our local grocery store to stock up my freezer with mint chocolate ice cream because he knew it was my favorite…and he liked it too.
And of course I will spend the day remembering my dad: reliving favorite memories, remembering the last time I saw him, the last words we said to each other, the last thing I said that made him laugh…
Valentine’s Day will always be about love and candy, and from now on, it will always be about my dad.