The Christmas candy display at our local grocery store changed to Valentines candy more than a month ago. I’m sure it will change to Easter candy on the fifteenth.
I don’t know what they do during the big candy lull between Easter and sometime in September when the Halloween candy goes out.
I suppose the display turns to chips and beer for Memorial Day, Independence Day, then Labor Day.
As the British say, “that’s sorted, then.”
This will be the first Valentine’s Day that I’ve been without Kim in twenty-four years.
Yes, we went out for the first time before Valentine’s Day but we weren’t in a “we have to be together for this” relationship yet. I think I worked Valentine’s Day that year. At the time I was working on-air in radio and think I was hosting some party somewhere.
The following year I proposed to Kim on Valentine’s Day – but not really because it was Valentine’s Day.
I was working on Valentine’s Day eve. I was hosting a midnight show at a comedy club and Kim was with me as were our friends Bill and Jodelle.
Don’t worry. I didn’t propose to Kim from the stage. That would have been uncomfortable for her and for me.
Bill and Jodelle had helped get me sign language font. Kim had learned to sign years ago and so I typed “Will you marry me?” finger spelled out on a piece of paper.
After the show, Kim and I went back to her apartment.
In the morning I got up to meet a friend at the gym. Kim was going to sleep a bit more then go to church. We planned to meet for breakfast at our favorite diner.
I left the piece of paper on the mirror in the bathroom so that she’d see it when she woke up.
I went and worked out, showered, and then headed over to the diner to meet Kim.
She already had a table and there was coffee for the two of us.
She looked at me and signed “Yes”.
We never celebrated Valentine’s Day while we were married. We didn’t like to do things just because other people said we should.
I never bought her flowers on Valentine’s Day. I bought her flowers when I was at the grocery store and something caught my eye.
It could be just some random day like today when I’d come home with flowers.
Kim never asked “why”, she always said the same thing, “oh, they’re beautiful.” Then she would get a vase and arrange them nicely and put them out.
Friends would come over and ask, “what’s the occasion?”
“Nothing special,” Kim would say, “Daniel just saw them and liked them.”
The flowers would open up and become more beautiful. Then they’d slowly fade and drop petals and shrivel.
The moment would be gone.
It’s actually not true that there were no traditions for flowers. I brought Kim flowers in the hospital when she was pregnant with Elena. After Elena died I always bought those same flowers on Elena’s birthday.
Probably not this year.
A friend texted last night to see how I’m doing. He asked how my day was.
“Productive,” I texted back.
And it was. Suddenly I’m working more and thinking more clearly. I remember things about Kim but it doesn’t hurt the way it did. It doesn’t hurt all the time – but when it hits it hits hard.
The candy is out for Valentine’s Day.
I don’t remember caring much either way about being alone on Valentine’s Day before I met Kim. I just know not to go out that night because the restaurants are all full.
I know people who feel lonely and sad on Valentine’s Day. I never did before. I don’t expect to this year.
I think it will be like flowers. I won’t feel lonely and sad on a specific designated day.
There will just be days now and then where I feel lonely and sad.
As productive as yesterday was, there was a moment towards the end of the day where it hit me hard.
I continued to work but there were tears that I wasn’t bothering to fight back.
What’s the occasion?
A wave of loneliness and sadness washed over me.
The moment was gone.