Valentine Memories: How My Husband Redeemed Himself

Our June 8 wedding

Our June 8 wedding


We had some nice Valentine’s Day dinners, complete with lovely cards, in our dating years. We went out to dinner. He gave me a card—maybe even some flowers. After all, we had been together for 5 years by then. Some good Valentine memories.

But Steve really missed an important Valentine’s Day—February 14, 1975.

After 5 years he finally seemed to be warming up to the idea of marriage. Valentine’s seemed the perfect time! I was confident this was the night he would propose.We drove to our favorite restaurant—the Sycamore Inn. Dinner was delicious. The card was sweet. Conversation was casual. And then it was over.

No proposal. Seriously, how do you miss this opportunity!

Yes, I was disappointed. Sad. Annoyed. Perhaps a little angry.

The next day he left on a two-week trip. Not a word from him.I met him at the airport when he returned, still perplexed and disappointed.

On the Way to Disneyland

Two weeks passed, and on March 14 we were on our way to Disneyland. He had asked me to bring a pad of paper and a flashlight. As we drove on the Riverside Freeway to the Magic Kingdom, he handed me a large, very thin box.

I opened it suspiciously. Inside was the largest card I had ever seen.

I carefully took it out of the box and read it slowly. The card was filled with flowery, mushy sentiments—and commitment.

I turned to Steve and said, “Have you read this?

Okay, I know, not cool. But these were words he had not been able to say. I think he considered taking it back from me, but he said, “Yes, I’ve read it.”

Tears flowed.

As he kept driving, he added, “I have something to say.”

Tears stopped.

“Will you marry me?”

Tears flowed.

He waited, and finally said,

“Well, will you?”

Tears stopped. “Oh yes. Definitely.

”What happened next was predictable. We are both planners, so we immediately began to plan, thus the pad of paper and the flashlight—because the car’s cabin light wasn’t working.

The first question: “When do you think we should get married?”

“June 7 or 8,” I replied immediately.

Startled, he asked, “Why so specific?”

“That’s the next plan.”

“The next plan?”

You see, for several years I had always had a plan for our wedding, depending on when he asked. If a deadline passed, I would determine the next date. In this case, the next date was June 7 or 8.

I think he was taken aback, but not as much as I was when he asked, “Could we not tell anyone for awhile?”

“What! Why?”

“I need to get used to being engaged.”

My response: “You’ve have had 5 years to get used to it.”

We got married June 8, 1975.

Every Day Love

And we’ve had many wonderful, fun, memorable Valentine’s Days. Our Valentine memories have more than made up for missing a Valentine’s proposal. Romantic dinners, beautiful flowers, sweet cards, occasional surprises. Best of all—sometimes he writes poetry for me, or letters of ongoing love and commitment.

And far more important than Valentine’s Day are the every days he speaks and demonstrates love to me:

Today, as always, he made my coffee and kept my cup filled.

When one of us leaves on a trip or just for a meeting, he always says, “I will miss you.”

A text from him yesterday: “Am eating some of your delicious pea soup. It reminded me to tell you I love you.”

He does the laundry more than I do.

He tolerates my clutter.

He keeps the house temp cooler than he prefers to please me (and I keep it warmer than I prefer to please him).

He repeatedly vacuumed the accumulated water on the floor of my Mustang convertible until we could get the leak fixed.

What He wrote to me on my 70th birthday brought sweet tears.

Who needs Valentine’s Day? I am loved every day!

What about you?  What Valentine's memories do you have?

c2016 Judy Douglass